Kerala

Kerala journalist death | Kerala CM warns of strict action against any attempt to dilute probe

High-profile case: Sriram Venkitaraman being moved out of a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.

High-profile case: Sriram Venkitaraman being moved out of a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala ridiculed Pinarayi Vijayan’s statement that the IAS officer was under the influence of drugs while driving the car causing the accident

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday said the government will take strict action against any attempt to dilute the investigation and legal process in the case in which a scribe died after being hit by a car driven by an allegedly drunk IAS officer.

Mr. Vijayan also said it was a known fact that the car was driven at a high-speed.

“We know that the car which killed KM Basheer was on a high speed...initial investigation reports also suggest that the accident occurred due to the influence of drugs,” he said.

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday refused to stay a magistrate court order granting bail to suspended IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman who was arrested for alleged drunken driving that caused the journalist’s death.

“We will not let anyone to dilute the probe and the legal process in the matter and if anyone attempts, we will take strong action against them,” Mr. Vijayan said.

However, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala ridiculed Mr. Vijayan’s statement that the IAS officer was under the influence of drugs while driving the car causing the accident.

“Chief Minister says the officer was under the influence of drugs. But the police is yet to believe this.

“This shows that the CM, who is also the home minister, is a failure. Police was attempting to derail the investigation from the beginning,” Mr. Chennithala alleged.

SIT to probe alleged lapses

Meanwhile, Mr. Vijayan said a Special Investigation Team has been appointed to probe the alleged lapses in taking the accused for medical examination and shifting him from the general hospital to a private one.

He also said lapses in registering the FIR was also being probed.

The magistrate court on Tuesday had granted bail to Venkitaraman, now being treated at the Government Medical College Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram, after perusing his blood report samples, which was found negative for alcohol content and the police case diary.

The IAS officer was arrested on August 3, hours after the luxury car driven by him in an alleged inebriated condition while returning from a private party, knocked down journalist Basheer, killing him on the spot.

The government had on Monday suspended the officer, who was serving as the survey director.

Basheer, 35, Thiruvananthapuram Bureau Chief of Malayalam daily Siraj, was returning home from work when the incident took place at around 1.00 a.m. on Saturday.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 6:58:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-journalist-death-kerala-cm-warns-of-strict-action-against-any-attempt-to-dilute-probe/article28866029.ece

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