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Ranil orders probe into Kandakadu incident 

3 months ago

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  • Police, Army, STF control inmate groups’ clash 
 BY Buddhika Samaraweera President Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed the Ministry of Justice, Prisons Affairs, and Constitutional Reforms to submit a full report regarding the altercation that took place at the Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre in Welikanda on 6 November, and to take necessary steps to prevent the recurrence of such incidents, according to the President's Media Division (PMD). Speaking to The Morning, Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Maj. Gen. Darshana Hettiarachchi said that the situation had been brought under control with the assistance of the Police, the Army, and the Special Task Force (STF) as of last evening (7). He said that an argument had taken place between two inmates on the evening of 6 November, following which the situation had turned into a clash between two groups of inmates, who had assaulted inmates in each group. According to him, five persons, including four inmates and one Army officer, had been injured, many properties had been damaged, and about 40 inmates had escaped during the clash. In addition, another group of about 200 inmates who remained in the premises had not allowed anyone to approach them until last morning. It was also reported that the said groups of inmates had attempted to break into the armoury of the centre, and that the Army had fired rounds into the sky to control the situation. Maj. Gen. Hettiarachchi further said that the Police, the Army, and the STF were later called in to bring the situation under control. They had approached the group of inmates who remained in the premises and were not allowing anyone to approach them. The security personnel had also been deployed to apprehend the escapees, while some escapees had surrendered themselves. He added that they were in the process of producing the relevant inmates before the Magistrate as they had caused damage to property, and that the future course of action will be taken afterwards.  The inmates and Army officer who were injured during the clash had been admitted to the District General Hospital in Polonnaruwa. Meanwhile, the PMD stated yesterday that President Wickremesinghe, who is currently in Egypt, had, following a discussion with Minister of Justice, Prisons Affairs, and Constitutional Reforms President’s Counsel Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, had instructed that a full report regarding the incident be submited, and to take steps to avert a recurrence of such incidents. In June 2022, nearly 1,000 inmates escaped during a clash between inmates of the Kandakadu Centre. The inmates had broken the security fence of the centre and escaped at around 8 a.m. on 29 June during the clash, which erupted following the death of an inmate. More than 500 security personnel had been deployed to search for the escaped detainees on that day. 

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