The wife of MP Rishad Bathiudeen and two others have been apprehended in connection with the death of a 16-year-old domestic helper at the parliamentarian’s private residence, says the Police Spokesman.
According to Senior DIG Ajith Rohana, the father of Bathiudeen’s wife and the intermediary who brought the teenage girl to the Bathiudeen residence are also among the three arrestees.
The arrests have been made by the officers of Borella Police and Colombo South Crimes Division in the early hours of Friday (July 23).
The police spokesman stated that nearly 20 statements were recorded so far with regard to the incident.
Shabdheen Ayesha – the 46-year-old wife of MP Bathiudeen, her father Mohamed Shabdheen and the middleman in question identified as a 64-year-old named Ponnaiyah Pandaram were placed under arrest based on these testimonies, autopsy results as well as the evidence gathered by the investigating officers which pointed to the fact that the deceased girl was subjected to abuse, he explained.
The three suspects are expected to be produced before the Colombo Magistrate’s Court later today.
The police plan to seek a court order permitting the detention of the trio for 72 hours for interrogation, SDIG Rohana added.
On Thursday (July 23), the Borella Police had interrogated the parliamentarian’s wife over the incident.
In addition, the mother, stepfather, brother, and sister of the deceased teen as well as two former domestic workers of the Bathiudeen residence were also questioned by the police teams.
Meanwhile, the Attorney General appointed a Deputy Solicitor General and a team to provide legal advice for the action on the case.
On July 15, a 16-year-old girl, who was serving as domestic help at the Bathiudeen residence, succumbed to severe burn injuries while receiving treatment at the Colombo National Hospital. She had been under medical care for 12 days since her admission to the hospital on July 03.
The girl, who was residing in the Dayagama area, had been 15 years of age when she was brought to the parliamentarian’s residence at Bauddhaloka Mawatha for domestic work last October.
The judicial medical officer who conducted the post-mortem on the girl’s death concluded that she had been sexually exploited.