Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has assured a foolproof investigation into the death of journalist KM Basheer who passed away after he was hit by a car allegedly driven by IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman. Strict action also awaits police officials who defaulted on duty, he added.
"We will not let anyone dilute the probe and the legal process in the matter and if anyone attempts to do so, we will take strong action against them," Vijayan said, adding it was a known fact that the car was being driven at high speed.
"We know that the car that killed KM Basheer was in high speed... initial investigation reports also suggest that the accident occurred due to the influence of drugs," he said.
While the government is considering the possibility of helping the deceased journalist’s family, allegations of Venkitaraman using medication to diffuse the effect of alcohol content are also being probed.
Vijayan said a special team has been set up to probe the delay in carrying out medical examination and registration of FIR. Steps to install CCTV cameras along the thoroughfare are also being sped up.
“A legally-aware person like Sriram committing a crime leads to serious consequences. Witnesses vouch of seeing an intoxicated Sriram. A person who knows about drunken driving, shall not commit it. If he was not drunk, isn’t he aware not to over-speed? Blood was taken from a drunken man. Investigations will tell if medicine to hide alcohol content was used,” the Chief Minister said.
Venkitaraman has been suspended as the director of Survey Department. A sub-inspector of the Museum Police station was also suspended. The Kerala High Court refused to stay a magistrate court order granting bail to Venkitaraman and the government is now challenging the court order, trying to revoke the bail.