Meet Mr. Sriram Venkitaraman IAS, Sub-collector of Munnar(Devikulam), Kerala.
This young IAS officer from kerala has taken the state by storm. Barely 3 years into his career as an IAS officer, he is fighting an entire army of corrupt politicians and real estate mafia. He has nerves of steel. This brave officer is taking on the powerful politicians(ruling party), quarry owners, millionaire resort owners, and goons to evict illegal encroachments in his jurisdiction.
He is a post graduate in General medicine (M.D) and left a lucrative career to do his bit for the nation.
This young and dynamic personality is taking the state of Kerala by storm by leading the eviction of illegal landholdings at Munnar in Kerala.
Munnar is a beautiful hill station located on Western Ghats in the state of Kerala.
Much of the land in this beautiful hill station have been grabbed by powerful land lobbies with the help of the political class.
The land held by these men, belong to the state government. Some of the land were supposed to be given to the tribal poor and landless , although it never happened.
While there have been attempts in the past to cleanse Munnar from these Mafia elements, this is the first time that a brave and honest officer has come forward to take up the task.
The story so Far,
The moment Sriram decided that he was going to evict illegal landholdings in Munnar, he was threatened by the resort Mafia and the local leaders(of most parties. This brave Sub-collector decided to go ahead with his mission.
In his first mission to remove encroachments, he was met by an army of CPI(M) workers who tried to stop him. They shamelessly tried to protect the interests of criminals and abused the sub-collector.
Although the sub-collector asked for the help of the police to discharge his duty , they remained mute spectators. The party men( rather, goons) roughed up some of the staff personnels who accompanied the officer. The officer went ahead boldly with his work and the media came to his support.
After this, the officer went on mission mode, issuing notices to the owners of each and every illegal encroachment.
The party leaders tried every dirty game in the book to stop this man. They used poor people as a shield to fight the collector. There was a hunger strike in front of the sub-collector’s office, apparently by “poor farmers of Munnar”. But almost everyone knew they are proxies of the local CPI(M) leaders to stop Mr. Sriram.
They tried to create the illusion that the collector was hurting the poor farmers of Munnar by taking up this eviction mission. But the people of Kerala have seen through this wicked strategy.
Sriram recently order demolition of a Christian cross belonging to a church group, placed illegally on government land. Even this time, the party leaders came around but Sriram used his special power as sub collector to invoke section 144, which prevents unlawful assembly. The political leaders had to disperse else face arrest by the police.
Although party leaders tried to play the religious card to stop the collector, most Christians of Kerala, came out strongly in support of the IAS officer. He successfully completed this task.
The Chief minister of the state was heavily criticized by the Media and People alike for trying to stop the officer.
Although he could get transferred in the future, this man has already won the hearts of the people of the state.
When asked about his work, he modestly claims that he is not doing anything extraordinary, but rather just following the law.
Let’s support such brave officers who are struggling against all odds to bring a change. Since his actions have affected crony capitalists who fund the parties in our state, I sincerely hope the national media takes up this issue and supports the officer. It is high time the central government brings in laws to protect such crusaders.