The media spokesman of the Prisons Department Chandana Ekanayake refuted reports claiming that inmates from the Watareka Open Prison Camp were part of the attackers.
He said that 181 inmates from the Watareka prison were transported in civil attire for rehabilitation work at three construction sites under the regular rehabilitation programme of the prison department.
A group of prisoners had been dispatched to locations in Colpetty, Rajagiriya, and Battaramulla yesterday and had been attacked by the public while returning to the prison, he added.
He said the public had removed the prisoners from the bus they were being transported in the Thalahena area last evening and assaulted them, claiming them to be a part of those who assaulted protestors.
Chandana Ekanayake called on the public to assist them if they learns of any details of these missing prisoners and to hand them over without doing them any harm.