Interim report on Mahara Prison riot handed over

The interim report of the committee appointed by the Justice Ministry to probe the recent unrest at the Mahara Prison was handed over to Justice Minister Ali Sabry today.

The Minister appointed a five-member committee chaired by former High Court Judge Kusala Sarojini Weerawardena to probe the riot that occurred at the Prison on 29 November.

Chief Legal Adviser of the Justice Ministry President’s Counsel U. R. de Silva, Justice Ministry Additional Secretary Rohana Hapugaswatta, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Ajith Rohana, and former Commissioner General of Prisons Gamini Jayasinghe are the remaining members of the committee.

However, DIG Ajith Rohana who is also the Police Spokesman stepped down from the committee citing a conflict of interest as he is tasked with providing daily updates to the media on current affairs, including the prison riot.

The Police Spokesman told reporters today that the Criminal Investigations Department team appointed to investigate the incident has recorded nearly 110 statements to date from inmates, prison guards, doctors and nurses in this regard.

Post mortem examinations under the guidance of the Wattala Court and assistance of the Ragama Police into the bodies of eight out of the eleven inmates killed have been completed.

Seven of the bodies have been identified and are inmates who were convicted for drug offences from the Hunupitiya, Ja-Ela, Weliweriya, Anguruwatota, Endaramulla, annd Minuwangoda areas.

DIG Ajith Rohana said that the Ragama Hospital will conduct post mortem examinations on the remaining three bodies today.

He further said Police investigations are underway to ascertain the identity of the bodies of the 4 remaining unidentified inmates killed in the prison riot. (Colombo Gazette)