The preliminary investigation has confirmed eyewitness accounts that it was the IAS officer who was behind the wheels when the car hit the bike of journalist KM Basheer, killing him.

Sriram IAS was driver in accident that killed journo Kerala cops eyewitnesses say
news Accident Saturday, August 03, 2019 - 12:10

Senior police officers have confirmed that preliminary investigation shows IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman was driving the car when it hit the bike of Thiruvananthapuram bureau chief of Siraj newspaper, KM Basheer, resulting in the latter's death.

Cantonment ACP Suneesh Babu said, “We have connected all the evidence available in the case. From the statements of the eyewitnesses, it is clear who the accused is. Looks like it was him (IAS officer) who had driven the car.”

Survey director Sriram Venkitaraman IAS, was travelling in the car that was allegedly overspeeding, and rammed into Basheer’s bike early on Saturday morning.

According to Siraj Daily, Basheer was returning home to Thiruvananthapuram after Siraj Promotion Council meeting in Kollam when the accident took place.

Asianet News reported that two auto drivers named Shafique and Manikuttan who were at the crash site, have also corroborated this by stating that IAS officer Sriram was behind the wheel.

They also added that Sriram himself had got out of the car, removed the journalist from the bike and placed him on the ground.

Following the impact of the accident, the bike had hit a nearby wall and was found leaning against it in an upstanding position with its front wheel resting on top of the wall.

The auto drivers also added that they had moved to one side of the road after seeing the speed of the car in which Sriram was travelling.

Another eyewitness stated on social media that Sriram was in a heavily inebriated condition.

“Around 12:55 in the night, when I saw people, police vehicles and a van crowded near the museum public office, I parked my cycle and went to see what was happening. There was a bike which stood leaning near the wall of the building. Suddenly I saw the man who was lying down. Blood was flowing out of him. The police were waiting for an ambulance as it was too risky to take him in the police jeep due to his critical condition. The man who got out of the car, who looked like he was in his 30s, could not place his legs firmly on the ground. He was heavily inebriated. The woman who was with him seemed petrified...The man was calling a lot of people on the phone. The ambulance had arrived by then and taken the victim. From first sight, I could see that his hand was broken and completely dislodged,” says Dhanasumod in his Facebook account.

The account also stated that the police have taken the name and address of the woman who accompanied Sriram and then allowed her to leave for her residence in an Uber.

“The man, who gave his address as Civil Service Colony Kowdiar, Thiruvananthapuram, was asked to accompany the police to the museum PS,” the account further stated.

Asianet News also claimed that the police did not insist on a blood test for Sriram. Before it was confirmed that it was Sriram who was driving the car, a senior cop told the media that he'd refused to do a blood test and that the police will follow procedure.

Meanwhile, a doctor at the General Hospital told Asianet News that the police had allowed Sriram to go to a private hospital. 

However, a source from the hospital told TNM that a blood sample was taken from Sriram by staff from the General Hospital who came to KIMS under police instruction.

Police have also reportedly taken Sriram's statement from KIMS hospital. 

"There will be no lapse on the part of the police in investigating this case,'' state Police Chief Lokanath Behara told media.

ReadKerala journalist Basheer killed in road accident, car involved had IAS officer in it

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