Thiruvananthapuram: The state government has drawn flak from various quarters including Kerala Working Journalist Union (KUWJ) for reinstating IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman, the prime accused in the case of journalist KM Basheer’s accidental death, back into service.
The 2013 batch officer has been reinstated as the joint secretary in the Department of Health and Social Justice. The appointment is said to have been prompted by the coronavirus outbreak in Kerala.
Sriram was placed under suspension after the drunken driving accident in which KM Basheer died. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan signed in the order to remove his suspension on Sunday.
The suspension was removed after Sriram approached the central tribunal to repeal the suspension. The IAS lobby which allegedly exerted pressure for the repeal of the suspension.
Some sources alleged that the officer was reinstated in service after discussions with Kerala Working Journalist Union (KUWJ) and that Chief Minister discussed with the union representatives. However, the journalist union, which came strongly against the lifting of suspension, refuted the claim. The KUWJ state committee through a statement released on Sunday urged the government to rethink the move.