Detained woman files FR plaint | Daily News
Ship’s wheel mistaken for Dharma Chakra:

Detained woman files FR plaint

The woman who was arrested and detained for wearing a dress depicting a ship’s steering wheel which had been mistaken for a Dharma Chakra (Wheel of the Doctrine) yesterday filed a Fundamental Rights petition in the Supreme Court seeking a declaration that police have violated her fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

The petitioner, Abdul Raheem Masaheena, 47, a resident of Kolongoda, filed this petition seeking an order directing the Attorney General and IGP to take steps to investigate, take disciplinary action and prosecute the Respondents who were involved in the violation of her Fundamental Rights. In this application, the Petitioner impugns her arbitrary arrest, on May 17, 2019, subsequent detention, and degrading treatment, purportedly based on her choice of clothing in which she wore a dress with a ship’s steering wheel depicted thereon. This was maliciously construed by the Respondents to be the Dharma Chakraya which, in Buddhist symbolism, is used to depict the Dhamma and the journey to Enlightenment.

The petitioner has cited the Attorney General, the Inspector General of Police and OIC of Hasalaka police station as respondents.

The Petitioner states that at the time of the impugned arrest, she was not aware of the significance of the ship’s wheel or of the Dharma Chakraya and, in any event, she never intended to commit any offense whatsoever.

The Petitioner states that the gown she had worn bearing the illustration, was a gown gifted by her landlady in Kuwait when she returned to Sri Lanka.

The Petitioner states that between 18-05-2019 and 03-06-2019 she was remanded at the Badulla Prison.

The Petitioner further states that her attire depicted a ship’s wheel as opposed to the Dharma Chakraya and that she had no intention whatsoever to deliberately or maliciously give offence to, insult or act in any manner whatsoever “outraging the religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs”.

 

 


 

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