A doctor of the Senarathpura Rural Hospital in Gonagolla, Ampara was arrested by the police for sexually abusing four schoolgirls day before yesterday (07.01.2020).
An image has been widely shared in a news article with an image of a person claimed to be the doctor, arrested on allegations of sexual abuse. Below is a screengrab of the social media post, which is going viral.
JVP News Facebook page shared a news article link with a claim in Tamil language, which translates to English as “Ampara doctor’s disgusting act …Shocking report on child abuse.”
However, a doctor from the Senarathputa Hospital retorted to one such post in the comment section by claiming that the image shared is not of the arrested doctor hence we decided to carry out a fact check to determine the identity of the person in the image.
We contacted Dr. Niroshana Liyanage, acting station in charge doctor at Senarathpura Hospital, who is the person whose image is being shared. During our telephone conversation, he said, “I have been working at Senarathpura Rural Hospital in Gonagolla, Ampara for past 9 years. In addition, I am the only male doctor who worked in this hospital for a long time until the new doctor had joined, whom police have now taken into custody over the allegations of sexual abuse. Most of the people in this area are not familiar with this new doctor and hence they have shared these posts with my photo thinking that I am the doctor who got arrested for sexual abuse.”
We checked the social profiles of Dr. Niroshana and we noticed a few posts of the incident being shared by him as well, mentioning how disappointed he is with the incident and extending his sympathies to the victimized children and utmost support to the authorities in all investigations.
We searched for news related to sexual abuse of school girls in Ampara and we found several online news reports. On reading these reports, we verified the name of the accused was not Dr. Niroshana.
Since the face of the alleged doctor was covered, when he was taken into custody we were unable to see the face of the accused and establish his identity. We contacted the Uhana police station OIC and enquired about the incident. We came to know that, the alleged doctor who was taken into custody was not Dr. Niroshana, who is seen on viral posts circulating on social media and the real doctor who was arrested would be produced in the court on 21st of January.
Below is the official police statement regarding the incidentSenarathpura-Doctor-Abuse-of-School-Girls
From our investigations, it is clear that the image of the doctor shown in the social media posts is the acting station in charge of Senarathpura hospital, Dr. Niroshana Liyanage and he is not the one who was arrested for allegedly abusing four schoolchildren at the Senarathpura Hospital.
Title:Fact Check: Image of Doctor who exposed sexual abuse by another doctor shared as the offender.Fact Check By: Nelson Mani