Hours after a journalist working with a Malayalam daily was killed after his two-wheeler was hit by a car driven by an IAS officer, administrator Sriram Venkataraman was arrested on Saturday. Sriram is currently undergoing treatment in a hospital in Thiruvananthapuram.
The 33-year-old IAS officer, who was appointed Survey Director by the state cabinet on Thursday, was arrested under Section 279 (Rash driving on a public way) and 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code. He was travelling with a woman at the time of the incident. Confirming that Venkataraman was behind the wheels, Deputy Police Commissioner Kori Sanjaykumar Gurudin said, “According to eyewitnesses and as per evidence collected, it is confirmed that Venkataraman was driving the car in a drunken state.” Read in Malayalam
K M Basheer (35), bureau chief of Siraj, died on the spot after his bike got sandwiched between Venkataraman’s car and a roadside wall, just a few metres away from the Museum police station in the city.
Earlier in the day, while the doctors found the accused in an inebriated state, Venkataraman moved out of the government hospital and got him admitted in a private hospital.
Though Venkitaraman had earlier, reportedly, stated that his friend was driving the car, the woman later in her statement told police categorically that it was the IAS officer who was behind the wheels at the time of the crash. “There were conflicting statements on who drove the car. We have now confirmed from independent witnesses that Sriram Venkitaraman was driving the vehicle,” IGP and Thiruvananthapuram Police commissioner, Dhinendra Kashyap, told PTI.
Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) has demanded a proper and truthful investigation in the case to bring the guilty to book. Transport Minister A K Saseendran said IAS officers should set an example for others by following rules and regulations strictly.