The discovery of a tunnel last week at the Kalutara prison, believed to have been dug by LTTE detainees has led to more startling revelations and investigators are now pointing fingers at some prisons officials who are believed to have been directly involved in the attempted prison break.
Investigations suggest that large sums of money could have been offered to the prison officials to ensure that some guards were not permitted to visit the particular cell from where the inmates planned their daring escape before they were transferred to another prison. It has now been revealed that the LTTE had managed to smuggle blunt implements, baskets and fertilizer bags into the cell with the assistance of some prisons officials.
`It may lead to a chain of involvement by a large number of officials,` a top police officer involved in the investigations said.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner General of Prisons Major General Vajira Wijegunawardane (Retired), who visited the Kalutara prison on Saturday, found that a large number of guards and officials had not reported for duty after the discovery of the tunnel.
Of the 150 officials and guards only six had reported for duty on Saturday, prisons source told the Daily Mirror, raising suspicions of their involvement in the attempted break-out.
The Commissioner General said a full scale probe had been launched into the failure of prison officials to report for duty on Saturday.
In scenes reminiscent of the TV series `Prison Break` officials of the Kalutara Prison on Horana Road discovered the nearly 200 metres long tunnel, complete with electricity for lighting, leading towards the Kalu Ganga, dug by Tiger suspects in custody over a period of one year.
Prison officials on Thursday made the discovery during a special search operation within the premises. Fifty-three LTTE detainees were kept in a separate section at the Kalutara Prison till they were transferred to the Welikada Prison several months ago.
According to initial investigations, the LTTE suspects had first dug eight feet vertically down through an abandoned toilet pit inside one of the cells and then had dug horizontally towards the river some 250 metres away from the main cell.
A year ago, the same LTTE suspects were transferred to the Welikada Prison amidst their protests. Later they launched a hunger strike demanding an immediate transfer to the Kalutara Prison. The detainees resisted being transferred to the Batticaloa Prison when the authorities planned to transfer them there.