Sriram Venkitaraman's exit coincides with death anniversary of journo Basheer

Sriram Venkitaraman and KM Basheer.

IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman's official exit from the post of Alappuzha district collector coincided with the third death anniversary of journalist KM Basheer, who was allegedly run down in a drunk driving accident in Thiruvananthapuram.

Basheer, who was the Thiruvananthapuram bureau chief of Malayalam daily 'Siraj', was rammed down by a car allegedly driven by Venkitaraman in the wee hours of August 3, 2019.

Venkitaraman, who was removed from the position -- just six days after his appointment -- amid widespread protests, did not turn up to hand over the charge to the incumbent VR Krishna Teja.

Instead, it was ADM Santosh Kumar who transferred the charge to the new collector, who said returning to Alappuzha was like being back home.

Krishna Teja was quite popular in Alappuzha during his previous stint as sub-collector, especially for his work during the 2018 floods.

VR Krishna Teja
VR Krishna Teja in his office after taking charge as Alappuzha district collector on Wednesday. Photo: Facebook/ @districtcollectoralappuzha


Collector's FB page reopens
During the brief stint of Venkitaraman, interactions had been disabled on the official Facebook page of the Alappuzha District Collector.

However, on Wednesday, following the transfer of charge, it was reopened and Krishna Teja won hearts with his first official notification.

His post was addressed to students in the district. "You might have heard that I took charge as the collector of Alappuzha. My first order is for you. Tomorrow, I have declared a holiday for you," Krishna Teja wrote.

He, however, made sure to warn the students that the holiday was not to be spent outdoors considering the prevailing rain situation.

"Don't venture out for fishing or playing in the water. Stay home. Don't go out just because your parents left for work and you're home alone. Even diseases are spreading. Eat on time and don't waste time. Study well and become successful," the collector wrote.

Within an hour of the post, it was shared almost a thousand times with close to 2,000 comments.

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