COLOMBO : Former minister Rishad Bathiudeen was further remanded until October 01 in connection with the death of a teenage domestic worker who was serving at his residence, while his wife and father-in-law were granted bail by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court on Friday,Sept.17.
On July 15, the 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.
Jude Kumar Ishalini, 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.
Thereby, the former minister’s wife, father-in-law, and the middleman in question were taken into custody on July 23 based on the testimonies recorded from nearly 20 individuals, autopsy results, and the evidence gathered by the investigating officers which pointed to the fact that the deceased girl was subjected to abuse.
In addition, the 44-year-old brother-in-law of MP Bathiudeen was also taken into custody and produced before the Judicial Medical Officer for allegedly sexually abusing a young woman who worked as a domestic helper at the lawmaker’s official residence from 2015 to 2019.
Her remains were exhumed on July 30 for a second postmortem by a court-appointed specialist medical team.
On August 23, MP Rishad Bathiudeen, who is currently under remand custody over a different case, was named the fifth suspect of the case.
Bathiudeen’s brother-in-law Mohamed Ismat and Ponnaiya Pandaram, the intermediary who had brought the girl to the Bathiudeen residence, were released on bail last week.
The former minister and his brother were taken into custody on April 24, under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), for allegedly aiding and abetting the suicide bombers who perpetrated the deadly bombings on April 21, 2019.