Alappuzha: Sriram Venkitaraman IAS was removed as Alappuzha district collector a week after his appointment owing to massive protests.
Sriram, who is the key accused in the case pertaining to the death of journalist KM Basheer, was given the new charge on July 26. It invoked criticism from several sections of society.
Kerala Muslim Jamaat, the apex body of the AP Sunni-affiliated organisations, had staged protests in front of Kozhikode collectorate and state secretariat to withdraw the deicision of the state government withing days of the appointment. The AP faction, which is close to the LDF and CPM, did not heed to the explanations of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan unlike the earlier times. The death of their fellow-traveller, who was also a journalist with the organisation-run newspaper, was an emotional issue for them.
UDF had announced a demonstration in front of the collectorate on August 6 from 10 am to 6 pm, to pressurise the government to remove Sriram.
Alappuzha collectorate witnessed a series of protests since Sriram took charge of the office. He assumed the office from the former collector of Alappuzha and his wife Renu Raj, who was transferred as the district collector of Ernakulam.
Renu Raj served as the district collector in Alappuzha for four and a half months. Prior to taking charge in Alappuzha on March 3, she was serving as the director of Urban Affairs department and AMRUT Mission. Sriram Venkitaraman was the joint director of Department of Health and MD of Medical Services Corporation before his appointment in Alappuzha collectorate.
The newly appointed collector Krishna Teja is popularly known among the Alappuzha natives. His exemplary interventions and services when the coastal district was hit by floods in 2018 were widely acknowledged.