IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman was arrested in Kerala on Saturday for causing the death of a journalist by allegedly driving in an inebriated state, police said. The 33-year-old IAS officer was charged 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 was appointed as Survey Director by the state cabinet on Thursday.
Venkitaraman was arrested from a private hospital, where he was undergoing treatment for injuries received during the accident. He is likely to be shifted to the state-run medical college hospital.
Venkitaraman, who is also a Medical doctor and Fullbright Fellow, allegedly drove his car in a rash manner and hit the stationary motorcycle of 35-year-old journalist K Muhammed Basheer at a road in the heart of the city. The accident took place when Basheer, Bureau Chief of Malayalam newspaper 'Siraj', was returning home from work. Basheer is survived by his wife and two children.
After completing higher studies abroad, the IAS officer had recently returned to the state. He was accompanied by model-friend Wafa Firoze, the owner of the luxury car.
Eyewitnesses said the car was in a high speed when it hit the bike and it was a man who came out of the driver's side in a drunken state. Wafa Firoze also gave a statement recorded before a magistrate that it was Venkitaraman who was driving her car.
Basheer's body was brought to the Press Club where CM Vijayan, several Ministers and hundreds of people paid their last respects. The body was later taken to his hometown near Kozhikode for the last rites.
(With PTI Input)