Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa
Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda RajapaksaReuters

Ahead of the crucial parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka, the body of rugby player Wasim Thajudeen was exhumed on Monday to probe murder claims linked to the son of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. 

The move is likely to corner Rajapaksa, who is hoping to come back to the political stage as the Sri Lankan Prime Minister after he was ousted as president in the presidential elections early this year.

Thajudeen, a former national rugby player, was found dead inside a car in 2012, in what was then thought to be an accident. 

However, following claims that Rajapaksa's son Yoshitha was involved in the murder, his body was exhumed from the Jummah Mosque Cemetery in Colombo on Monday, Colombo Page reported.

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) is heading the fresh probe into the rugby player's death. 

"The body had been wrapped in a plastic bag so it is well preserved and we hope to be able to finish our work very soon," chief judicial medical officer Ajith Thennakoon was quoted as saying by BBC

The police have now said that Thajudeen's body had broken bones and torture marks. 

Another factor reportedly pointing to the Rajapaksa family is that the car in which Thujadeen was found dead belonged to the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, but was allegedly being used by Shiranthi Rajapaksa, who was then the first lady. 

Rajapaksa has vehemently denied allegations that his family was behind the rugby star's death, which is said to be linked to a fight over a woman with the former president's son. 

"Even without doing a proper investigation they are pointing the fingers at the Rajapaksas. They began this investigation just ahead of the election so we all know it's politically motivated to target us," the Rajapaksa family told BBC. 

Sri Lanka remains tense ahead of parliamentary elections on 17 August. Last month, a shooting at a political rally in Colombo had killed one person, escalating fears of violence.