K.M. Basheer
Kerala-based Indian journalist K.M. Basheer, who died in the accident. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Lulu group chairman M.A. Yusuffali has offered Rs1 million (Dh52,720) for the family of a journalist killed in a car crash in the south Indian state of Kerala.

In a statement issued on Sunday morning, the UAE-based Indian billionaire condoled the death of K.M. Basheer, the Thiruvananthapuram bureau chief of Malayalam daily Siraj who was on his way home after attending an official meeting when a car rammed into his bike, killing him instantly.

“Kerala has lost a journalist who championed ethics and values,” Yusuffali said in his condolence message.

An award-winning journalist, Basheer, 35, leaves behind his wife, Jaseela, and two young children, Janna and Azmi.

Remand and release

Meanwhile, reports from Kerala on Sunday morning said the Indian Administrative Service officer Sriram Venkitaraman who was reportedly driving the car in an inebriated state was remanded to judicial custody for 14 days.

However, Sriram, who was also injured in the accident, remains in hospital under police surveillance, a senior police officer involved in investigation of the case told Gulf News over phone from Thiruvananthapuram.

“He can be sent to jail only when he is discharged. But he is likely to move a bail application in the court tomorrow,” he said.

The officer added that Wafa Firoze, an Abu Dhabi resident, who was traveling with Sriram in her car when the accident took place, was released late on Saturday night.

“The case against her was for allowing him to drive her car even after knowing that he was drunk. It is not a non-bailable offence. She was released from the police station late at night,” the officer added.