K Muhammed Basheer, Journalist, Kerala journalist, killed, Pinarayi Vijayan
Journalist KM Basheer was killed Saturday by the Kerala IAS officer Sriram Venkataraman

The IAS officer from Kerala, Sriram Venkitaraman, who has been accused of killing a local journalist KM Basheer, has been sent to 14-day judicial custody

Venkitaraman, a 2012 batch IAS officer and Director of Survey and Land Records, was driving a car and was allegedly drunk when he rammed into the journalist’s motorbike on Saturday.

The IAS officer has since been under arrest and taking treatment for injuries at a hospital.

Venkitaraman has been charged under Sections 279 (Rash driving on a public way) and 304 (Culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.

The incident has since sparked a controversy after it was known that the man in the driver seat was a Kerala cadre IAS.

Venkitaraman had earlier claimed that he was not driving the car, rather his friend Wafa, to whom the car belonged, was behind the wheel.

His claim was dismissed by the police, who said that eyewitnesses have given their statements, which clearly indicate who was driving the car at that time.

The eyewitness told the police that the car rammed into the bike and skidded to a wall of the public office at 1.35 am instantly killing the bike rider on the spot.

Sriram was also admitted to the KIMS hospital in Thiruvananthapuram with injuries.

Wafa was summoned to give a statement before the police only after a group of journalists demanded stringent action against the Venkatraman. The cops later also visited the private hospital to collect the blood samples of the IAS officer.

An auto driver Manikuttan, who was also an eyewitness to the accident, said that the IAS official was in a drunken state and tried to provide first aid to the bike rider.

Cases of rash driving and “punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder” have been registered.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala and the minister for temple bodies Kadakkampally Surendran were among those who condoled the death of the journalist.

KM Basheer (35) was the Thiruvananthapuram bureau chief of Malayalam daily Siraj. He is survived by a wife and two children.

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