THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Dr. Sriram Venkitaraman, 32, was the idol of the youth in the state for a long time. He held a reputation of being an honest and upright officer since his days as sub-collector of Devikulam in Munnar, where he evicted the encroachers.
Mr Sriram, who was recently appointed director of the survey department, had returned a few weeks ago from the prestigious Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health on a Fulbright Scholarship, the king of all scholarships.
Sriram, a bachelor, was going back to his apartment at Kawdiar after a party which was also attended by a few senior bureaucrats. His woman friend, Wafa Firoze, had given him a lift, but instead of heading back to his apartment, he wanted to have a late dinner from an outlet at Palayam when the accident happened. The duo had got down at Cafe Coffee Day outlet at Kawdiar for a take away and from there Sriram drove the dark blue 2013 Vento car with registration number KL 01 BM 360, owned by the woman.
A senior police official told DC that Sriram being a doctor and a bureaucrat should have tried to give first-aid to Basheer and take him to the nearest hospital. “He should not have driven the car and taken the law into his hands. Instead of trying to cover up the offence, he should have surrendered to the police,” he said.
Sriram, son of Prof. P. R. Venkataraman, a career guru, and Raja, is considered as the most eligible bachelor in town. After completing his MBBS from Thiruvananthapuram Medical College, he did MD in general medicine from SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack, Orissa. He passed the civil services exam with a second rank in his second attempt in 2012. Sriram had said in an interview that he was ready to work at Mental Health Centre, Oolam-para, due to his insights into people’s lives. A fan of Mammootty, he was keen to direct a film because ‘Joseph Alex and ‘Bharatchandran IPS’ of ‘The King’ and ‘Commissioner’ had influenced him. He is also an admirer of poet Madhusoodanan Nair, and used to sit with him whenever his mind was in turmoil.
His bid to shift the blame onto his woman friend saying that she was driving the car has alienated his fans and his Facebook has been inundated with hate comments.
A woman social media activist said, “IAS is just a glorified job like that of a super clerk. The fake garb of his morality was revealed when Sriram tried to pass the buck to his female friend,” she said.
An old picture of him attending a traffic awareness programme in Pathanamthitta and taking classes on safe driving during his stint as assistant collector went viral on Saturday. But he was a different person under the influence of liquor on Saturday and may land in jail for some time.