The body of the 16-year-old girl, who died of severe injuries she had suffered while working as a domestic aide at MP Rishad Bathiudeen’s private residence, has been exhumed a short while ago.
The body, exhumed at the Dayagama Cemetery, will be taken to the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital for the second post-mortem.
The second autopsy will be carried out by a three-member specialist medical team appointed by the Director-General of Health on the recommendations of the Attorney General.
The medical team includes Dr. Jean Perera, Professor of Forensic Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Colombo, Dr. Sameera Gunawardena, Head and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Forensic Medicine under Faculty of Medicine in University of Colombo, and Judicial Medical Officer Dr. Prabhath Senasinghe, Specialist in Forensic Medicine, Peradeniya Teaching Hospital.
On the orders of Nuwara-Eliya Magistrate Kumari Dharmakeerthi, the special medical team led the exhumation with the assistance of Grama Niladhari in charge of the area and Public Health Inspectors (PHIs), in compliance with the quarantine regulations.
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.
It was reported that 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.
Thereby, the former minister’s wife, father-in-law, and the middleman who brought the teenager to the Bathiudeen residence 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.