File photo: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Photograph:( ANI )
'There is an insurance scheme for journalists. We will expand and restructure it in order to ensure that the family is safe enough to cope with complex situations. The government will take urgent measures to address these issues,' Vijayan said.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan expressed grief over the death of journalist KM Basheer in a road accident and stated that his government will consider measures to ensure greater risk protection of journalists in the workplace.
Basheer (35) was killed after a speeding car driven by IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman rammed into his bike in Thiruvananthapuram in the wee hours of Saturday.
"There is an insurance scheme for journalists. We will expand and restructure it in order to ensure that the family is safe enough to cope with complex situations. The government will take urgent measures to address these issues," Vijayan said in a Facebook post hours after Basheer's death.
Vijayan also said the state government is dealing with all matters related to the accident in a serious manner.
Basheer, Vijayan said, was a regular face at Thiruvananthapuram Press Club, adding that the journalist's death caused much grief.
"When I saw his face for the last time, I felt like a family member has left us," he said in his post.
"No compromise of any kind will be allowed and we will do everything possible to bring to justice to those responsible for Basheer's death," Vijayan said.
The IAS officer has been sent to 14-day judicial custody in connection with the accident.
The police have registered a case under Section 279 (for reckless driving) and 304 (for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.
The IAS officer was returning after a party and was accompanied by a friend when the accident took place. He was reportedly in an inebriated state while driving the car.
Basheer was the Chief of Trivandrum Bureau of Malayalam daily Siraj and was rushed to a government hospital, but could not be saved.
Sriram, who also sustained injuries in the accident, was also taken to a nearby hospital.
In a statement recorded of Sriram after the accident, the officer had claimed that at the time of the accident, the car was driven by his friend.
However, the journalist fraternity had alleged that there were lapses from the police during the probe. The fraternity also claimed that the police did not conduct Sriram's blood test.