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Fresh questions over death of maid (Rajakumari 42) in Sri Lanka police custody

Image: Attorney-at-Law Senaka Perera, who also represents Rajakumari with her husband Yesurasa speaking to the press after the court hearing. 

ECONOMYNEXT – A housemaid who died mysteriously after being arrested by police did not appear in official records, it was revealed in court, as lawyers for the deceased demanded answers and requested that the body be exhumed for further investigations.

Welikada police had taken the 42 year old woman to custody on May 11 after Sudharma Neththikumara, a businesswoman, allegedly suspected the maid of having stolen a ring while being in her employ.

On May 12 she had been admitted to hospital where she had been pronounced dead.

An open verdict on the death had been issued after the initial inquiry.

The lead lawyer representing Rajakumari, Attorney-at-Law Manjula Pathiraja said the death of R. Rajkumari, was suspicious, and that her husband, Selvadurai Jesuraj deserves an explanation to her cause of death.

The lawyers representing the deceased requested that her body be exhumed for further investigations.

There was no record of her arrest, adding to the mystery.

“When a suspect is arrested, it must be recorded in the police books,” Attorney-at-Law Senaka Perera, who also represents Rajakumari, told Economy Next after the hearing.

“However, in this case, no reports were found of her arrest and interrogation in the police records.

“It is clearly stated in the Prison Ordinance that the detention and interrogation of a suspect must be clearly mentioned. Since it is not mentioned, questions arise about where she was after being arrested.”

Meanwhile the police Special Investigations Unit had launched an inquiry into the case and five police officers have been interedicted over the death,  according to a report. (Colombo/May22/2023)

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