IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman has been suspended from service after he was arrested for his involvement in the death of journalist KM Basheer. Sriram's car rammed into Basheer's bike in the early hours of Saturday in Thiruvananthapuram near the Museum public. Basheer was killed in the incident.
The government issued an order for the suspension on Monday. Sriram was serving as the Survey Director and has been remanded to judicial custody. Sriram was booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 279 (Rash driving or riding on a public way) and 304 (Culpable homicide not amounting to murder).
Basheer had been working as the Thiruvananthapuram bureau head of the Siraj Daily.
According to the order issued by Chief Secretary Tom Jose, â€śGovernment views the matter seriously and accordingly Shri Sriram V IAS is placed under suspension with immediate effect under Rule 3 (3) of All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969. The officer will be eligible for subsistence allowance.â€ť
Meanwhile, the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court in Thiruvananthapuram has adjourned the hearing for the bail plea to Tuesday. Sriram was allegedly drunk at the time of the accident, but police did not conduct a blood examination until nine hours later. He admitted himself to a private hospital allegedly without police accompaniment.
Sriram had taken a year off work and had been studying for his Masters degree in Public Health at Harvard University. He returned a week ago and the government had appointed him as the director of the Land and Survey Department.
After the accident on Saturday, he was shifted to government medical college on Sunday evening amid drama. From the specialty hospital KIMS, where he was admitted and where his arrest was recorded, Sriram was taken directly to the house of the judicial magistrate. He was later taken to the district jail in Thiruvananthapuram, and then to the Government Medical College.
SIT to probe incident
A special investigation team (SIT), headed by ADGP (Law and Order) Shaik Dervesh Saheb, has been formed to probe the accident in detail. State Police Chief Loknath Behera issued the order in this regard on Monday evening.
Crime Branch Superintendent of Police (SP) A Shanavas, Thiruvananthapuram City Narcotic Cell Assistant Commissioner Sheen Tharayil, Vizhinjam Coastal police station Inspector A Aji Chandran Nair and Crime Branch Sub-Inspector SS Suresh Babu are the team members. Sheen Tharayil has been designated as the prime investigating officer. The team has been given directions to submit the report at the earliest.