Sunday, April 14, 2024

Kerala: Thousands protest appointment of IAS officer accused for killing Muslim journalist as District Collector

The Kerala Muslim Jamaat on Saturday took out marches to the state secretariat in the state capital and district collectorates across state, protesting against the appointment of Sriram Venkitaraman as Alappuzha District Collector.

Venkitaraman was facing court proceedings after he caused the death of a prominent young Muslim journalist K.M. Basheer in a drunk driving-related car accident.

35-year-old K.M Basheer was bureau chief of Siraj Daily which is published by AP Samastha fraction whose mother organization is Kerala Muslim Jamaat.

Thousands of protesters demanded that Venkitaraman’s appointment be revoked.

“The government is sending wrong signals to the people by appointing a person facing criminal charges as District Collector. This is challenging the law. This will destroy the law. It is a challenge to the people,” said Kerala Muslim Jamat State secretary Abdurahman Faizy Wandoor.

Faizy said his organisation would continue the protest until Venkitaraman’s appointment was revoked.

Venkitaraman assumed the office on 26 July.

Venkitaraman, currently serving as Joint Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, is accused of his role in the killing of Basheer in 2019. In the same case, Venkitaraman has been charge-sheeted for alcohol-impaired driving and trying to distort the evidence.

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