Video of protests against Kerala IAS officer shared with communal spin

A 30-second video of a large crowd of men dressed in white and wearing skull caps marching with placards is going viral on social media. Users claim Muslims are protesting against the appointment of a Hindu Brahmin IAS officer in Kerala.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  6 Aug 2022 3:25 AM GMT
Video of protests against Kerala IAS officer shared with communal spin

Hyderabad: A 30-second video of a large crowd of men dressed in white and wearing skull caps marching with placards is going viral on social media.

Users claim Muslims are protesting against the appointment of a Hindu Brahmin IAS officer in Kerala.


Click here to view.

https://archive.ph/VfVU8

https://archive.ph/QEqye

https://archive.ph/9pZcR

Fact Check:

The claim is misleading.

NewsMeter discovered a text on several buildings written in what appears to be a Malayalam script. We also noticed the words 'Poly Dental Clinic' written on one of the buildings. We conducted a Google keyword search for 'Poly Dental Clinic Malappuram,' which led us to an image of the clinic uploaded on Justdial, similar to the one seen in the viral video.

https://jsdl.in/RSL-HSV1659549019

'Beauty Spot Up-Hill, Malappuram' was also clearly written on one of the boards. As a result, we can conclude that the incident depicted in the viral video occurred in Malappuram.

We ran a Google search for "Malappuram Kerala Protests," and found several recent news reports on the subject. Onmanorama reported on July 31, 2022,

"Protest marches were held to the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram and Collectorates in other districts against the appointment of Sriram Venkitaraman as Alappuzha Collector."

https://www.onmanorama.com/news/kerala/2022/07/31/protest-against-sriram-appointment-alappuzha-collector.amp.html

It added that Sriram is also accused of being involved in a drunk-driving accident that killed journalist K M Basheer a few years ago.

Protests against the appointment of Sriram Venkitaraman as Alappuzha Collector have been reported from across the state. "We cannot accept the government's stand of promoting the accused in a murder case instead of punishing him," said Pattuvam K P Aboobakkar Muslim, who inaugurated the march in Kannur.

https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2022/jul/31/thousands-take-part-in-protests-against-ias-srirams-posting-2482458.html

We also found a report by The News Minute, on August 03, 2020, titled 'A year since journalist Basheer's death: No trial yet, accused IAS officer back in service.'

The report noted, "Eyewitnesses said Sriram was behind the wheel and in an inebriated. There was a major lapse in initiating the immediate legal proceedings, which eventually weakened the case."

The officer is also accused of tampering with the case's evidence.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/kerala-muslim-jamaat-holds-protest-against-appointment-of-alappuzha-collector-101659208489805.html

https://english.mathrubhumi.com/news/kerala/ap-sunni-s-muslim-jamaat-protests-against-appointment-of-sriram-venkitaraman-as-alappuzha-collector-1.7744454

We also found that the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) and the Congress party both organized protests calling on the state government to rescind Venkitaraman's appointment.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/congress-intensifies-stir-against-sriram-venkitaramans-appointment-as-alappuzha-collector/article65681174.ece

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/protest-against-appointment-of-sriram-venkitaraman-as-collector/article65703839.ece

After a few months of suspension, Venkitaraman was reinstated by the Kerala government and appointed as the Joint Secretary of the Health Department in March 2020.

https://www.ndtv.com/kerala-news/kerala-ias-officer-sriram-venkitaraman-who-ran-over-journalist-reinstated-2199582

Hence, the claim is misleading.

Claim Review:Because Sriram Venkitaraman is a Brahmin, Muslim organizations in Kerala protested his appointment as Alappuzha District Collector.
Claimed By:Social Media Users
Claim Reviewed By:Newsmeter
Claim Source:Social Media
Claim Fact Check:Misleading
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