Arrest of Bathiudeen’s wife, in-laws: Suspects produced before JMO
By Eunice Ruth and Keerthi Mendis
The wife and father-in-law of MP Rishad Bathiudeen were arrested on Friday (23), along with the person who brought the girl to Colombo, in connection with the death of a 16-year-old girl, who served as a domestic worker at the MP’s residence.
Police Spokesman SDIG Ajith Rohana said a Police team had conducted investigations and taken a number of statements including from two domestic workers who previously served at Bathiudeen’s private residence.
Police are seeking a 72-hour detention order to conduct further inquiries on the suspects. Divisional Children and Women’s Bureau unit of the Borella Police and Colombo South Divisional Crimes Detective Bureau are jointly investigating the death of the teenager.
The Police have collected scientific, circumstantial, technical evidence and information about bank statements. The evidence revealed that the girl had been subjected to abuse and torture. Investigations further revealed that, apart from bringing the girl to Colombo, subjecting her to abuse and using her for domestic labour, the suspects had also committed the offence of trading her.
Accordingly, Bathiudeen’s 46-year-old wife, Shihabdeen Ayesha, her 70-year-old father (Bathiudeen’s fatherin-law) Mohammed Shihabdeen, as well as the broker from Dayagama, who brought the girl to Colombo, Ponnaiah Parandaran alias Shankar (66), have been taken into Police custody.
The Police have obtained 20 statements in connection to the incident. Meanwhile, Bathiudeen’s brother-in-law was arrested on Friday (23) following a revelation that a female domestic worker had been allegedly raped for several years at his private residence. SDIG Rohana said that following investigations into the death of 16-year-old girl, it was also revealed that a 22-year-old domestic worker was also raped from 2015 to 2019 by Bathiudeen’s brother-in-law at his private residence.
The 22-year-old woman is also from the Dayagama area and she was also brought to Colombo by the same trafficker. The said trafficker is due to be produced before the Magistrate’s Court. “A separate investigation will be conducted in this regard,” said SDIG Rohana. All four suspects were produced before the Colombo JMO Friday (23) evening.