IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman was arrested in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday for causing the death of a scribe by allegedly driving in an inebirated state, police said.
The 33-year-old IAS officer, who was appointed Survey Director by the state cabinet on Thursday, was arrested under Section 279 (Rash driving on a public way) and 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.
“We have recorded the arrest of Venkitaraman at the hospital.We have charged him under Section 279 and 304 of the IPC,” an investigating officer told PTI.
Venkitaraman, also a Medical doctor and Fullbright Fellow, allegedly drove his car in a rash manner and hit the stationary motorcycle of K Muhammed Basheer (35), Bureau Chief of Malayalam newspaper ‘Siraj’, at a road in the heart of the city as he was returning home from work.
Basheer is survived by his wife and two children.
The IAS officer had recently returned to the state after completing higher studies abroad.
He was accompanied by model-friend Wafa Firoze, the owner of the luxury car.
Meanwhile, people from various walks of life, including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, state ministers Kadakampally Surendran, E Chandrashekharan, P Thilothaman, Opposition leader in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran and other MLAs paid their respects to the mortal remains of Basheer at the Press Club here.
The journalist fraternity here paid a tearful adieu to Basheer, who was a popular face among the media and social circle for over 12 years.
His mortal remains were later taken to his home town at Vatakara in Kozhikode.
Venkitaraman was reportedly returning after a party in a club in a posh area of the capital city.
Police came under severe criticism as it took nearly nine hours for them to collect the blood sample of the officer for medical examination, even as eye witnesses told police and the media that Venkitaraman was found drunk behind the wheels.
There were twists and turns in the incident as the IAS officer initially claimed it was his friend who drove the car.
However, the witnesses maintained that it was a man who came out of the driver’s side in a drunken state.
Later, Wafa Firoze also gave a statement to the police that it was Venkitaraman who was driving her car.
Police said they had taken Wafa to the magistrate to record her statement.
Parts of the motorbike and the car were strewn around and Basheer’s slippers and some articles were found metres away from the accident spot.
Eyewitnesses told television channels that the car overtook some autorickshaws and hit the motorcycle at high speed.
Under the impact of the collision, Basheer was flung off his bike, suffering serious injuries and died on the spot.