THIRUVANANTHPAURAM: State police chief Loknath Behara has constituted a special investigation team headed by additional DGP Shaik Darvesh Saheb to investigate the accident case involving IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman.
Crime Branch SI Jayaprakash has been suspended for the lapses in the initial phase of investigations.
Meanwhile, Sriram's female friend Wafa Firoz, who was in the car at the time of the fatal accident, said that Sriram was at the wheel.
In a statement given to the police, Wafa said she sends goodnight messages to all her friends at night.
"Normally Sriram does not reply to such messages. But on the day of the accident, he replied and sought to know if I had a vehicle with me. He asked me to reach Kowdiar in the vehicle. On reaching Cafe Coffee Day, Sriram said he wants to drive the car to which I agreed," she said.
"The car was at a high speed since the traffic signals were not functional in that late hour. Despite telling him several times to slow down, he didn't listen. Just after the Museum police station, I saw a bike moving slowly. Since the car was moving at a high sped, it hit the bike. Sriram applied the brakes but could not avoid the crash,"she said.
"We jumped out of the car with great difficulty as air bags had opened by then. Sriram lifted the injured man. Soon the police arrived. Everyone there asked me to leave for home. Sriram was drunk at the time of the accident and was smelling of liquor. I returned to the police station at 2 a.m.," Wafa said and ended her statement saying the accident could have been avoided had she been behind the wheels....