Thiruvananthapuram: Siraj management has come out against the police for its failure to recover the mobile phone of journalist K. M. Basheer even two weeks after the accident which killed him.
Mr Basheer died after the car allegedly driven by IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman hit him in a drunken state.
Siraj's unit manager Siafudeen Haji told Deccan Chronicle that at 1.53 am, soon after the accident when one of the officers at the Museum Police station called on the smartphone of Mr Basheer someone answered the call. Later, it was switched off. It has not been switched on even now, Haji said.
The investigators have failed to give a precise answer on the whereabouts of his smartphone. Neither the rescue workers nor the police obtained it, he said.
He suspects that someone had taken it from the scene. Witnesses had given statements that Mr Basheer was found speaking on his phone minutes before the accident. The police who reached the spot the next morning to write the mahazar did not get it, he said.
He also questioned the argument of the police that the blood test of Mr Venkitaraman was not conducted soon after the incident due to the delay in recording the statement of the complainant.
The Haji, who was the complainant in the case, said he was present at the police station at 3.30. The police record showed that the statement of the complainant was recorded at 7.26 a.m. The blood test was further delayed and was taken at 5.30 p.m. only.
He and other members of the Siraj management are planning to meet Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday to point out the discrepancies in the interim report.
Retired SP George Joseph in an interview to a media had opined that the accident is suspicious and the investigators should look into whether it was a planned one. The accident may have happened during a chase.
Mr Basheer may have seen something suspicious. He would have taken it on his mobile phone. The truth would come out had the handset been recovered, Mr Joseph told Deccan Chronicle.
Wafa Firoz, the co-passenger in the car involved in the accident, had claimed in her interview that she was first driving and after going some distance she handed over the wheel to Mr Venkitaraman.
"This was strange as the distance they had to travel was small," said Mr Joseph.
The office of Siraj is at Kowdiar. It was the same place from where Ms Firoz picked up Mr Venkitaraman. It was unlikely for a drunk person to take the driver's seat unless he had an intention.
The vehicle was at a speed of over 140 kmph. There was no need for going in such a high speed as their destination was nearby. There are enough hints to suspect a motive, he said....