A riot in Sri Lankas high-security prison over poor living conditions injured at least 31 persons here,forcing the authorities to transfer some 187 former LTTE guerrillas.
Some 31 persons,27 of them inmates and 4 prison guards,have been hospitalised some of them with critical injuries,the Colombo national hospital sources said.
Around 1,800 inmates are accommodated in the prison manned by some 500 officials. Most of the inmates had been shot below the knee when they rioted protesting against the action of a prison superintendent.
Rioters complained of poor quality of food and overcrowding. The situation was caused due to certain administrative decisions taken to eradicate illegal activities among inmates, said Minister of Prison Reforms Chandrasiri Gajadeera. The rioters set fire to a building while hurling debris and stones out of the highwall onto the nearby busy Baseline Road forcing its closure for traffic. The Army was called in and the police used tear gas to quell the riot. Some 187 former LTTE members were transferred out from the Magazine Prison.