Kerala sub-collector, who led courageous drive against encroachers in Munnar, transferred

Several politicians including local MLAs S Rajendran and MM Mani had complained about Sriram Venkataraman's actions to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 5, 2017 6:07 pm
sriram venkataraman, kerala sub collector, devikulam sub collector, kerala IAS officer, pinarayi vijayan, munnar IAS officer, munnar encroachment, kerala news IAS officer Sriram Venkataraman, who was the sub-collector of Devikulam in Idukki district of Kerala. He headed anti-encroachment drives in Munnar

Sriram Venkataraman, the young IAS officer who took on powerful encroachers in the hill station of Munnar, was transferred by the Kerala government Wednesday.

The officer, who was the sub-collector of Devikulam in Idukki district, has been posted as the director of employment and training department in what the CPM-led government has termed a ‘promotion.’ But many also believe that it was his action against the powerful real-estate mafia usurping government land illegally that had resulted in his being booted out from his present post. Most recently, he had issued a notice to a resort owner who had reportedly encroached upon a 22-cent land near the Munnar police station. Even the Kerala High Court had stated in that case that it would not interfere in Venkataraman’s campaign to evict squatters.

Also read: A profile of Sriram Venkataraman

Munnar is part of an ecologically sensitive and fragile zone where a large number of resort and hotel owners have gone on to build outlandish properties to the dismay of environmental activists. Encroachment in the hill station, popular for coffee and cardamom plantations, has always been a simmering issue in the state.

Several politicians including local MLAs S Rajendran and MM Mani had complained about Venkataraman’s actions to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Mani had even went to the extent of saying that the IAS officer should be banished to a mental health facility. When an iron cross atop a hill was razed during an anti-encroachment drive, Mani equated Venkataraman to an ‘RSS agent.’

The eviction drive had also led to a prolonged rift between allies CPI and CPM with the former always found supporting Venkataraman’s actions. Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan, who belongs to the CPI, justified Venkataraman’s transfer saying it was a ‘promotion’ and that it was ‘routine.’ He said anti-encroachment drives would continue to take place in Munnar irrespective of who is posted there.

Read the story in Malayalam here

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  1. M
    Jul 6, 2017 at 8:58 pm
    Commies have destroyed Munnar along with congress, chur_ch and Muzzies. I challenge Medha Patkar to do "protect Munnar and Western Ghats" just like sge campained against Narmada dam constructions.
    1. Y
      yash sehgal
      Jul 5, 2017 at 8:47 pm
      This gentle officer is very innocent. He expects justice n award for his performance of duty. Pl tell him these things don't exist in communist idealogy of successors of Stalin n Mao. To gain commies browny point you just hv to tow their line of exploitation n violence. Extort n extend n shout loudly " laal am comrade " abuse hindus, kill cows n fill ur coffers..that's all.
      1. P
        Paddy Singh
        Jul 6, 2017 at 12:17 am
        Does not matter which party is in power, most politicians have been bought by the mafia all over the country. That is why India is becoming a slum
      2. g
        Jul 5, 2017 at 6:59 pm
        Reward for his courageous action agaiNST illegal encrochers especially churches.
        1. D
          Jul 5, 2017 at 6:59 pm
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          1. A
            Jul 5, 2017 at 6:22 pm
            Now it's clear that the green cover in Kerala is not due to the communists or the government or the Vaikom Satyagrahis. The pseudo-saffrons are just waiting to exploit Kerala's Sanatan Dharma. Under the lush green cover, there runs stealth radicalisation flow so fierce that it will wipe out Kerala's potential in 10 years if not checked immediately. This was evident from a slaughter of a calf in full public view. At stake is country's setting of South West monsoon. Lack of it will turn South India into a desert.
            1. A
              Aneesh P
              Jul 5, 2017 at 10:15 pm
              I'm a hindu and I had veef today in Trivandrum. It was very yummy. :D
              1. A
                Aneesh P
                Jul 5, 2017 at 10:16 pm
            2. T
              Thomas Joseph
              Jul 5, 2017 at 6:14 pm
              This move should be opposed tooth and nail.
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