ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka police have recorded statements from two women who had worked as domestic aides at the private residence of former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen prior to the recruitment of the16-year-old girl who died from burn injuries on July 15.
Police media spokesman Senior Deputy Inspector General (SDIG) Ajith Rohana said the two women aged 21 and 31 were also residents of Dayagama, where the teenage victim was from.
The two women had worked at the former minister’s residence, Rohana said, before the victim was taken there by the same person who had also brought the minor to work as a domestic aide.
The statements were recorded by police on Wednesday (July 21) along with statements from the stepfather, brother and sister of the victim.
Police had also recorded a further statement from the mother of the girl following a press conference she held on Tuesday (July 20).
The mother, R Ranjani, rejected speculation of possible suicide by the girl.
“I asked from the madam (wife of Bathiudeen) and the PA of the house about this. They said my child might have caught fire when she tried to burn off a thread in her dress,” she said.
“She had come to the living room shouting for help while on fire. They had doused the fire using a carpet and put her in a fish tank in the house. They either did something to my child or some accident happened in that house,” the mother said.
Ranjani further said she accepts the blame for sending a minor to work and said many poor mothers make the same mistake.
“For that, I will accept any punishment given to me. Give some punishment for the people who did this crime too,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) took the mobile phone belonging to a male domestic aide at the former minister’s residence into custody to check for deleted data.
The 16-years-and-eight-months-old girl was admitted to the National Hospital with burn injuries on July 03 where she succumbed to the injuries last Thursday (15) while her postmortem revealed evidence of “chronic vaginal penetration”. (Colombo/July22/2021)