Kalutara chief jailer's evidence
[TamilNet, Saturday, 15 January 2000, 16:59 GMT]
Chief Jailer S. K Udaya Shanth Fenando referring to the clashes at the Kalutara Prison said that the situation was so precarious that it became necessary to use arms.
He was testifying at the Magisterial inquiry held into the demise of detainee Antonypillai Jesundaran of Kunchi Kulam, Vavuniya before Kalutara acting Magistrate A. M. A. Hamsha.
Chief Jailer S. K. Udaya Santh continued that there were 771 Tamil prisoners and suspects as inmates at the prison. There were 74 Sinhala prisoners for cooking meals
He told that when there was a clash, to bring the situation under control he fired a shot in the air. Prison officer Tilak acting upon his instruction used tear gas on them. He did not see any prison official using any other weapon. He took steps to send the injured prisoners and the injured prison officials to the hospital.
He continued that it was later that he came to know that weapons had been used and that the weaponry box had been broken open. It was the prison officers who had done so. He concluded that consequent to the incident one suspect died and 30 suspects and 15 prison officers were injured.
Attorneys at law K. M. Ratnavel and Ajith Ratnayaka of Human Rights Organization represented the interest of the prisoners.
Attorneys at law C. Perera, M. Fonseka and A. Samarasekera represented the interest of the prison officers.
Kalutara Police OIC Rex Janse led the evidence.