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Rs.10.1 m compensation for Welikada victims

Cabinet this week allocated Rs.10.1 million to compensate 16 out of the 27 deceased prisoners and 20 injured prison officials in the shooting which took place within Welikada prison in 2012.

The riot within the prison occurred when around 300 commandos from the Special Task Force entered the Welikada Prison to assist Prison officials in searching for illegal weapons, drugs and mobile phones stored within prison.

Ensuing clashes between the officials and the prisoners thereafter led to many being brutally killed or injured.

Cabinet this week approved the compensation based on recommendations made by a committee appointed to look into the shooting which occurred in November 2012. The report was submitted to the Minister of Justice, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe on June 9, 2015.

The remaining 11 were not recommended to be compensated as they died while trying to escape prison.

The Rehabilitation of Persons, Properties and Industries Authority (Rehabilitation Authority) is to implement the compensation process, according to Minister of Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms, D.M. Swaminathan who submitted the cabinet paper for approval.

Under current regulations; deceased persons receive a maximum of Rs 100,000 while an injured person is given a maximum amount of Rs 50,000 but the committee has recommended that each deceased persons be allocated Rs 500,000 and injured Rs 100,000 given the gravity of the incident.This brings compensation to a total of Rs.10.1 million.

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