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Timing of Sriram Venkataraman’s transfer not right: CPI

Timing of Sriram Venkataraman’s transfer not right: CPI

Kozhikode: CPI on Thursday said that the timing when Devikulam sub-collector Sriram Venkataraman was transferred was not right.

Talking to a news channel, CPI Assistant Secretary Prakash Babu said that the shifting of the sub collector, who had spearheaded the anti-encroachment drive at the hill station of Munnar, created a bad image about the government among the people.

“The people will decide if the shifting of the IAS officer has brought down the graph of the LDF government,” he said.

Asked about the future of the anti-encroachment drive in Munnar, Babu said the decision to act against encroachers was of the Revenue department. “No matter who the officer is, actions will be taken against land-encroachers,” he added.

The transfer of Venkataraman had drawn condemnation from the opposition Congress and BJP.

The state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday decided to shift Venkataraman, who has been promoted and appointed as Employment and Training Director.

The move drew strong reaction from the Congress-led UDF and the BJP which alleged Venkataraman was shifted to help the resort mafia and due to pressure exerted by big encroachers of government lands in the popular hill station.

Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly Ramesh Chennithala said the transfer "clearly exposed the insincerity" of the government in its actions against encroachers.

Criticising the officers removal, BJP National Executive member V Muraleedharan said the governments "attempt to help" the encrochers should be opposed and defeated.

Speculation has been rife over the past few months about the IAS officers transfer after he took on the encroachers at Munnar.

Revenue Minister and CPI leader E Chandrasekharan, who had extended full support for the eviction drive, said the transfer was routine.

"Can we insist that he should remain in the same post always?," he asked reporters who sought his reaction.

CPI, a constituent of the ruling LDF, had supported the eviction drive and had strongly backed the IAS officer.

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