Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Minister D. M. Swaminathan has found fault with prison authorities for the escape of four inmates from the Negombo remand Prison on Tuesday.
Four prison officials, a jailer, sergeant and two guards have been interdicted after the escape and an investigation has been initiated to ascertain whether the escapees had any assistance from the prison officials, ministry sources said.
A prison official said: “The escapees had made a hole in the prison wall to get out. The size of the hole indicates that it had taken several days for them to make it. The escapees were teens between the ages of 18 and 19.”
One of the escapees was a suspect in a murder case being heard in the courts and the other three were suspects in a robbery case, prison sources said.
Minister Swaminathan having engaged in a sudden inspection of the Negombo Prison on Tuesday evening and told The Island that he was surprised to see how shabbily the prison officials had discharged their duties while four teens were digging a huge hole in the protective wall and escaped from their custody.
“All officials of the Negombo prison should accept responsibility for the escape,” he said.
The minister said that he suspected that the escapees had received inside help.