Mahara Prison unrest: Death toll hikes to eight

Gun shooting

Eight persons have died while 109 others have sustained injuries in the unrest reported at the Mahara Prison last evening.

The Director of the Ragama Teaching Hospital Dr. Shelton Perera said several persons who are hospitalized are also in critical condition.

A tense situation was reported from the Mahara Prison yesterday as several inmates attempted to escape after a fellow inmate was diagnosed with COVID-19

By the afternoon, the situation had escalated into a brawl and it is reported that the remand inmates started assaulting inmates serving life sentences.

Prison officials then used minimal force to control the situation, including several shots fired.

Steps were taken to call the Police Special Task Force (STF) to control the unrest.

Meanwhile, several firefighters and trucks were deployed to douse the fire reported during the unrest at the Mahara Prison.

Meanwhile, a committee headed by the Secretary to the State Ministry of Prison Reforms has been appointed by State Minister Sudarshini Fernandopulle to conduct an investigation into the Mahara Prison unrest.

This is a developing story and details will be updated accordingly..