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Indian prisoners in violence-hit Lankan prison safe: Officials

Posted on Nov 11, 03:28PM | UNI

Indian prisoners in Welikada prison of Sri Lanka where rioting broke out yesterday are safe and the Indian High Commission is keeping a close watch on the situation, officials here said today.

High Commissioner Ashok Kantha has been in touch with Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Foreign Secretary Amunugama. He was assured that the situation is under control and all Indian prisoners are safe, the officials said.

It is understood that there are 39 Indian prisoners in the prison amongst a total of 4,000 inmates. These Indian prisoners include 34 who are sentenced and 5 undertrials brought from Jaffna.

Officials of the High Commission in Colombo have been in touch with prison authorities and were pressing for early consular access, they said.

According to reports from Sri Lanka, a clash that broke out between prison inmates and security forces had left at least 15 people dead.

The Welikada prison had witnessed violence in 1983 too when several ethnic Tamil prisoners were massacred, the officials said.