THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The police have been accused of serious lapses in rescuing journalist K M Basheer, who died in an accident in the city in the wee hours of Saturday. Though the mishap took place a few metres away from the Museum police station, it is alleged that the cops took 20 minutes to reach the spot. By that time, Basheer had lost a substantial amount of blood.
Though they took him to hospital, the cops did not take Sriram Venkitaraman for medical examination. Despite admitting that Sriram reeked of alcohol, the Museum police allowed the IAS officer to seek treatment at a private hospital without examining his blood samples.
The other lapse is that the police allowed Sriram’s friend Wafa Firoz to leave the place in a Uber taxi without recording her statements.
The police also failed to check footage from 40-odd CCTV cameras on the stretch. Initially, the police charged a case under Section 304A (negligent driving) which is a bailable offence.
However, the police had to charge Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), which is non-bailable, following pressure from the media. Even the arrest was recorded in the evening following media pressure.
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Later in the day, the police shifted the car and motorcycle involved in the accident from the spot before subjecting it to forensic examination. This move also invited criticism that the police are trying to destroy evidence. The police also refused to record the statements of witnesses. There are also allegations that the police helped to spread Venkitaraman’s version that his friend Wafa was driving the vehicle.