HC acquits youth sentenced to life in Andhra girl's murder

The 19-year-old B. Pharmacy student was raped and brutally murdered in a private women's hostel in Ibrahimpatnam near Vijayawada on December 27, 2007.

HC acquits youth sentenced to life in Andhra girls murder
The Hyderabad High Court Friday acquitted a youth who was sentenced to life in 2010 in the sensational rape and murder case of a student in Andhra Pradesh.

It also directed the Andhra Pradesh government to pay Rs 1 lakh compensation to Pidatala Satyam Babu, who spent eight years in jail without any evidence of his involvement, while ordering action against the police officers, who investigated the case.

The Mahila Sessions Court in Vijayawada on September 30, 2010 had sentenced Satyam Babu to life imprisonment for the rape and murder of Ayesha Meera.

The family of the youth had challenged the lower court's order in then Andhra Pradesh and now Hyderabad High Court, which is serving both the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The 19-year-old B. Pharmacy student was raped and brutally murdered in a private women's hostel in Ibrahimpatnam near Vijayawada on December 27, 2007.

The victim's naked blood soaked body was found in the hostel toilet with legs and hands tied to water tap and an iron rod, with her own dress.

Police had found a love letter written allegedly by the killer, a left foot print in her room and handwritten word by marker 'Chirutta'(leopard) in Telugu on her chest.

Police had picked up few suspects but later released them as no evidence was found.

Police claimed a breakthrough when Satyam Babu was arrested in a cellphone robbery case on August 17, 2008. Police said he confessed to the murder.

The youth has been suffering from GB Syndrome, which had badly affected his nervous system and his two legs were paralysed. His mother Mariyamma alleged that her son was falsely implicated in the case to save some influential people.

The arrest had created a sensation in the state as the girl's parents had claimed that the Dalit youth is being made a scapegoat to save the real culprits.

Dalit organisations and human rights activists had also protested the arrest of Satyam Babu, claiming that he is innocent.

Meera's parents Shamshad Begam and Iqbal Basha alleged that relatives of then state Minister Koneru Ranga Rao were involved in the rape and murder and to mislead the investigations, Satyam Babu was arrested.

Following Friday's court order, Meera's parents said Rs 1 crore should be given compensation for Satyam Babu and demanded that the government set up a fast-track court to try and punish the real culprits.

The victim's family alleged involvement of Koneru Ranga Rao's grandson Koneru Satish, who was the sarpanch of the village.

Police negligence in protecting the scene of offence had also come in for criticism from legal experts and rights activists.

The delay in the process of investigation had created doubts that there is a political interference and pressure on the police.

The activists alleged that police choose Satyam Babu, a part-time construction worker from Krishna district as a soft target as there was nobody to talk about him.

On May 22, 2010, police claimed that Satyam Babu tried to escape while he was being brought to Vijayawada from Hyderabad. A few hours later, he was surprisingly back in the police custody. Police had tough time to explain how he escaped when he can't even stand on his feet.

The rights activists alleged that the police were trying to kill Satyam Babu to close the case and to protect the real culprits.


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