The clashes broke out after a female inmate was listed for transfer to another jail, owing to her alleged connections with the narcotic trade within the premises, Prisons Spokesman Thushara Upuldeniya said.
He added that another 52 women prisoners were also moved out from the Welikada Jail to various other prisons in the country, including Galle and Kuruwita.
The injuries sustained by both the inmates and the prison officials were not of a serious nature and they are currently been treated by medics attached to the prison, he added.
He said that the transfer of the 52 inmates was essential in order to maintain law and order inside the jail and that additional precautionary steps would be taken to prevent further incidents of this nature.
Yesterday’s rioting comes barely a week after a group of inmates staged a noisy roof-top protest against the transfer of a female prison warden whom officials claimed was tainted with corruption.
It was only yesterday that Prisons reforms Minister Thalatha Atukorale said that some of the prison officers have come under death threats from unknown quarters, after she vowed to crackdown on the narcotic trade and corruption inside the prisons. Atukorale also emphasized the need to transform the country’s jails into proper correctional centres despite the threats to these efforts.
She made these comments at a public function in Ratnapura on Sunday.
The Prison Intelligence Unit (PIU) set up in 2010 has also been dismantled and replaced with a Police unit in order to stamp out corruption and other irregularities inside the prisons.
Atukorale also stressed on maintaining strict discipline inside the jails while at the same time protecting the rights of the inmates.