Suspension of IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman who killed journalist, extended
Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has extended the suspension of IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman who was accused of driving a car in an inebriated condition and it claimed the life of a journalist here August 3, according to government sources.
Venkitaraman, who is under suspension since August, had in his explanation to Chief Secretary Tom Jose earlier stated that he had not driven the car at the time of the accident and had not consumed liquor.
The officer was arrested August 3, nearly 17 hours after the luxury car driven by him while returning from a private party, hit journalist K Muhammed Basheer killing him on the spot. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) is probing the case.
Basheer, 35, Bureau Chief of Malayalam daily ‘Siraj’ was on his way home from work and had stopped his motorcycle to attend a call when the car hit him.
Venkitaraman, a doctor himself, had allowed police to collect his blood sample for chemical examination nine hours after the accident and after getting himself admitted to a private hospital here. His blood test had come out negative.
This was despite eyewitnesses stating before television cameras that the Venkitaraman was in a ‘highly intoxicated’ state.
Only after Basheer’s family and media protested over the ‘five star treatment’ being given to him that Venkitaraman was shifted to Thiruvananthapuram Medical College and Hospital’s surgical intensive care unit.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had made it clear that position and rank would not be a hindrance for police to take action against erring officials.