Three inmates who were addicted to drugs have committed suicide within the last week as a result of the crackdown on narcotics by authorities, and therefore being unable to consume drugs, Commissioner General of Prisons Thushara Upuldeniya said.
According to Prison sources, two have committed suicide in the Colombo Remand Prison. One of the inmates was reportedly addicted to illicit liquor while the other was a drug addict. Another prisoner who was suffering from liver disease meanwhile has committed suicide in the Negombo Prison. He too was addicted to illicit liquor and heroin.
The prison authorities have been able to seize individuals and groups who transport drugs into prisons in the recent past, and search operations have also been strengthened.
Prisons Commissioner and spokesman Chandana Ekanayake said the inmates, who were severely addicted to drugs and liquor are currently in a terrible condition as they were not receiving any kind of narcotics from outside the prisons.
When asked as to what measures will be taken to prevent suicide he said what could be done was to let those badly in need of drugs and liquor absorb the feeling that they could survive sans drugs and liquor.
“We can't subject them to the rehabilitation process as they are not convicted inmates but remandees, Ekanayake said.
“It is only the convicted inmates who undergo the rehabilitation process, Ekanayake added.
Moreover, he said they had taken measures to curb all possible ways from which the inmates received drugs and other illegal substances from outside.
Meanwhile, the Police Special Task Force (STF) personnel have also been deployed at the entrance of prisons in the Colombo city to ensure the external security at prisons in and around Colombo and also to obtain their support when search operations are carried out in prisons. (Sheain Fernandopulle)