The Colombo Magistrate’s Court on Friday (Aug. 25) ordered the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to arrest the suspects linked to the death of a housemaid named R. Rajakumari, who died while in the custody of Welikada Police.
Delivering the verdict of the woman’s post-mortem, Colombo Additional Magistrate Harshana Kekunawala gave the order this morning (Aug. 25).
The verdict was delivered after careful examination of evidence and the findings in the post-mortem report submitted by the Judicial Medical Officer.
Accordingly, the cause of death was ruled as haemorrhagic shock caused by damage to the deceased’s muscles after being attacked with a blunt weapon or similar force.
Thus, the magistrate ordered the CID officers to arrest the suspects responsible for Rajakumari’s death and produce them before the court.
The magistrate ordered the case to be taken up again on October 27 and ordered the CID to submit a report on the progress of investigations on that day.
Rajakumari, 41, a resident of Badulla, was arrested on May 11 based on a complaint made by her employer, famed producer Sudharma Nethicumara, claiming that she had stolen gold jewellery belonging to her.
She had later died while in the custody of the Welikada Police, of which her relatives raised suspicions, alleging that she had been subjected to assault.
When the case was taken up before Colombo Additional Magistrate Harshana Kekunawala today, the evidence hearing led by the Criminal Investigation Department’s Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Meryl Ranjan Lamahewa was concluded.
During a previous court proceeding, a witness, identified as Mahendran Suresh, had testified that he had seen Rajakumari being assaulted by the officers of Welikada police. He also divulged that two police officers had handcuffed him while he was at the Pettah bus stand and took him to a house at Cotta Road in Borella, where the deceased woman was employed.
According to Suresh, both he and Rajakumari were handcuffed together, and at that point, she had been in good health. After bringing them to the Welikada police station, Suresh said two police officers had assaulted both him and Rajakumari, despite her employer’s pleas to resolve the issue in a non-violent manner.
Later, disciplinary action was then taken against seven officers attached to the Welikada Police, with a Sub-Inspector (SI), two Sergeants and a Constable being interdicted while a Constable and two Women Constables were subsequently transferred.