Chennai: The management of Siraj newspaper has petitioned the Chief Election Commissioner against appointing Kerala cadre IAS officer, Sreeram Venkitaraman as the poll observer in Tamil Nadu.

Sreeram Venkitaraman has been posted by the Election Commission as poll observer for the Nagar constituency and Egmore constituency in Chennai. The officer was posted overruling the EC’s guidelines not to post officers with a tainted background. 

Venkitaraman is the first accused in a hit and run death case of the Thiruvananthapuram bureau chief of Siraj, KM Basheer who was run over by a car driven by him at midnight in Kerala’s capital city.

The 2013 batch IAS officer is charged under IPC sections including murder, destruction of evidence and destruction of public property.

Saifuddin Haji, Director, Siraj newspaper, while speaking to IANS said, “There is a clear violation of EC’s manual which states that spotless IAS officers be recommended by the state Chief Secretary and posted as poll observers. However in this case all these guidelines were violated.”

The Siraj management has also petitioned the Secretary General in the Election Commission of India, Umesh Sinha, Kerala Chief secretary VP Joy and the Chief Electoral Officer, Kerala, Tikkaram Meena against this.

Basheer was run over by Sreeram Venkitaraman’s car at around 1 a.m. on August 4, 2019.

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