THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Four months after his motorcycle was knocked down by a car carrying IAS officer Sriram Venkataraman and the latter’s woman friend killing him in the capital city, journalist KM Basheer suddenly reappeared in WhatsApp groups in which he was active and ‘left’ the groups.
On Monday night, the number used by Basheer was shown ‘left’ in the WhatsApp groups and this triggered suspicion among media persons that the number was still in use. His phone had gone missing since the fatal accident that took place near Museum junction on August 3.
However, Crime Branch SP A Shahanavas, who is leading the investigation into Basheer’s death, said their probe had revealed that the number was deleted automatically from the WhatsApp groups and that no one was using his mobile number.
“We have probed the angle based on the suspicion and concluded that the number was removed automatically. Normally, a number which is not in use for three to four months will be removed automatically. We have probed using the IMEI number of the phone and found that the number is not in use now. So there is no mystery,” he told TNIE.
The Crime Branch investigated the development with the help of the police cyber cell and hi-tech cell. The number was shown as ‘left’ after being not active since the accident. As the accident involved an IAS officer, friends and relatives of Basheer smelled foul play and suspected that the accused might have destroyed his phone to destroy evidence. Hence, the sudden removal of the number raised suspicion that the number was in use and it could be removed only when the user reinstalled WhastApp or deleted the number.
Basheer, 35, was killed after he was hit by a car allegedly driven by Sriram Venkitaraman under the influence of alcohol.
Basheer, the Thiruvananthapuram unit head of Malayalam daily ‘Siraj’, was rushed to the Government Medical College Hospital but succumbed to injuries. While Sriram suffered minor injuries, his friend Wafa Firoze who was also travelling in the car escaped unhurt.
‘Left’ too late
The latest development triggered suspicion among media persons that the number was still in use
His phone had gone missing since the mishap
But CB said the number was deleted automatically from the WhatsApp groups and that no one was using the number