Now, jailers emulate undergrads, rag newly recruited guards

About 100 new recruits threaten to resign en masse


By Norman Palihawadane

The secret practice of senior jail guards ragging new recruits came to light yesterday when at least one hundred trainee jailers attached to the Welikada Prison, unable to bear cruel treatment, threatened to resign en masse unless they were transferred out.

Commissioner General of Prisons Nishan Dhanasinghe told The Island that he had commenced an investigation into the complaint by the newly recruited guards.

Hundreds of new guards were subjected to severe ragging by their seniorcolleagues onWednesday and Thursday inside a barrack reserved for bachelor guards, according to prison sources.

Around 100 new guards deployed to the Welikada prison have complained that they were ragged severely and some of them had chosen to remain silent for fear of reprisal.

Rehabilitation, Resettlement, Prison Reform and Hindu Religious Affairs Minister D. M. Swaminathan, contacted for comment, said that he, too, had received a complaint and summoned all senior officials including the Commissioner General for an urgent meeting yesterday morning at his ministry. "I listened to all of them. I spoke to the victims too. They agreed to withdraw their complaints. The matter has been sorted out."

Asked what action would be taken against those responsible for inhuman ragging, the minister said: "Every time a new batch comes, the seniors welcome them. In these events the juniors are asked to sing songs, perform dramas etc. Seniors told me that it was a tradition and there was no intention to harm anyone. The juniors panicked. I sorted out the matter."

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