Death toll rises to 16

10 November 2012 02:36 am - 21     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The Army Commandos, who stormed the Welikada prisons around 2 am today, took the full control of the prison despite heavy resistance from the armed inmates, military official said.

During the clash ‘Maharagama Kalu Thushara’ and ‘Thotalanga Kapila’, who allegedly led the riot inside the prison, were also killed.

Meanwhile, the death toll has risen to 16 and 47 injured persons, including STF personnel were receiving treatment.

Official sources said that seven prisoners, who escaped from the prison surrendered themselves. They said special search operations are underway to locate other escaped prisoners.

War in prison

The shootout started shortly after inmates of the Welikada prison broke out from the main gate of the prison and attempted to flee in a trishaw parked near the entrance at around 6.15 pm, while opening fire at  STF personnel at the scene.
The STF returned fire killing a number of the fleeing prisoners.. Their bodies were later recovered from the Baseline Road at around 8.00 pm.  One of the  escapees sustained serious injuries.

Director of the National Hospital Dr. Anil Jasinghe said 13 persons were found dead on admission to hospital.“Of the 40 persons admitted, six were in a critical condition. The Commandant of the STF DIG C. Ranawana who sustained gunshot injuries in the abdomen  is undergoing surgery” he said.

The prison uprising began last afternoon shortly after around 300 STF personnel together with the prison officials carried out a raid after authorities received information of a major drug racket and other illegal activities being conducted within the prison premises.

The raid which commenced at around 2.00pm lasted for close to three hours, with the authorities recovering mobile phones, drugs and other material.

According to reports the rioting commenced when STF personnel commenced searching death row inmates after handcuffing them. prisoners began had protesting the move which led to a tense situation.Inmates had then begun pelting stones and other objects at the forces, who gradually withdrew from the complex.

In an effort to quell the unruly inmates the STF fired tear gas and withdrew completely through the main gates of the prison. However the effort failed and prisoners climbed onto the roof of  the prison ward and continued pelting stones, clubs and other objects at the STF who were on and the road.  

At Around 5.45 pm all roads leading to the prison were closed off causing a major traffic block in the area. According to reports it was at this time inmates broke into the armoury situated within the prison premises and taken assault rifles and other weapons which were stored. Thus armed they got onto the roof of the prison and were seen to threaten onlookers, prison guards and STF personnel.

At this point police personnel began to evacuate all residents of the area and cordoned off the entire area.

At around 6.15 pm five armed inmates broke out of the main gate, got into a trishaw and had attempted to escape while unleashing a hail of gunfire at the STF personnel. The STF returned fire at the escaping prisoners killing four of them From this point on (between 6.15 and 6.40 pm there was  heavy fire between inmates within the premises and the STF.

At around 6.25pm power to the area was cut making indentification between friend and foe impossible. Media personnel were ordered not to stay back and not to move around as they could  be in harms way.

All the while armed prisoners perched atop prison buildings kept constantly firing at the STF personnel.

After the initial round of heavy fire, random shooting continued even up to the time of going to press.

Each time authorities attempted to enter via the main gate, shots were fired, compelling them to withdraw.

Subsequently additional security forces from the military and the STF were called in. An armoured car was called in and the area soon took on the look of a mini war zone.

At around 8.30 pm  the military planned to break into the jail, ambulances were called in and were parked outside the prison complex to ferry injured to hospital. However before the plan could be put into operation heavy rains hit the area and the operation was temporarily halted.
With the military completely surrounding the prison complex more than fifteen weapons which were believed to be used by the inmates were also recovered in the area.

Several prisoners who had escaped during the riot were captured in the vicinity of the prison.

At the time of going to press the STF was  yet  to enter the prison and the situation within the prison remained unclear. (By Sanath Desmond, Hafeel Farisz and Darshana Sanjeewa) (Daily Mirror Print)


  Comments - 21

  • Lobo Monday, 12 November 2012 05:40 AM

    What rights... to stand on the roof of the prison and shoot at innocent by-standers and passing traffic with stolen guns?

    Nodrog Saturday, 10 November 2012 03:08 AM

    The time has come to shift prisons out of the city. These incidents cause a lot of fear, inconvenience and a danger to the public.

    adc Saturday, 10 November 2012 03:14 AM

    Update the 2013 Budget news rather than giving an incident affect only few.

    Luceifer Saturday, 10 November 2012 03:13 AM

    This was a well planned drama and the officials already planned the dead list. Some one, a top government body wants to take control of the whole drug business.

    Al Rasa Saturday, 10 November 2012 03:18 AM

    Too much of human rights causing severe destruction to the discipline of the country.

    Gamaya Saturday, 10 November 2012 03:21 AM

    I fully agree. The prisons should be re-located to a remote area.

    Sonali De Silva Saturday, 10 November 2012 03:32 AM

    This is what happens when the authority inside the prison are under the rule of the prisoners. The STF should now take over the prisons.

    chapman Saturday, 10 November 2012 03:35 AM

    These things cannot happen without support of the inside parties. Should investigate the matter and sack them first.

    joker Saturday, 10 November 2012 03:50 AM

    there are more is it...better get them fast

    Gampola dostara Saturday, 10 November 2012 03:56 AM

    Good lesson for everybody.Hats off to security forces!

    lima Saturday, 10 November 2012 04:03 AM

    the whole of 20 million people in sri lanka , except those in power and incharge , ask the question of how the prisoners could be accessible for arms , prisoners are prisoner , they enjoy drugs , they enjoy women , they enjoy mobile phones , who is running the prison. if they enjoy these then they are not prisoners , how is the possibility they become so powerful inside prison , how could they climb the roof top and attack with weapons , who is looking after this , where the authroties

    terror Saturday, 10 November 2012 04:16 AM

    Why are we tolerating these acts by these criminals? The security forces should deal with these people in strict way.

    Imran Hussein Saturday, 10 November 2012 04:56 AM

    Thats the idea behind this episode. The place is already in the 'selling' list. Right or wrong why STF or Army go into the prison in the first place?

    markara Saturday, 10 November 2012 05:14 AM

    This incident is a sad reflection of the law and order situation faced by the public outside prisons

    Kondebendapucheena Saturday, 10 November 2012 05:16 AM

    Give them Death penalty instatly

    Jamieson Saturday, 10 November 2012 05:23 AM

    I thought the 'DRUG BARON' was out and not in? May be his accomplices inside needed to be silenced before they sang.

    Gam Pappa Saturday, 10 November 2012 05:43 AM

    Relocate prisons in Hambantota

    Nico Saturday, 10 November 2012 06:08 AM

    WOW. You should write a book on that story. Maybe someday one of the hollywood movie production company will produce the movie of it.

    P.S. I can you don't get it and really start to write this story, I was just being sarcastic and please don't write that story. Terrible storyline in deed.

    Imran Hussein Saturday, 10 November 2012 06:30 AM

    Thats the idea behind this trouble. the plot is already in the 'land sales' list.

    pathi Saturday, 10 November 2012 06:46 AM

    who gave the firing order...
    does they get from the court?
    i don't know what the hell is going on this country..

    Rajaguru Sunday, 11 November 2012 11:32 AM

    Government want the Prison land. the value is too much and prime location. How dare these guys killing same Nationality like this. :(

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