VIJAYAWADA: With the High Court acquitting Pidathala Sathyam Babu, accused in the sensational murder case of B.Pharmacy student Ayesha Meera, people’s organisations, Muslim welfare associations and Sathyam Babu family members demanded reinvestigation into the murder to catch the real culprits.
On December 27, 2007, the body of 17-year-old Ayesha was found in a pool of blood. She was raped and murdered. Several allegations were made against the hostel management and also on Koneru Satish, grandson of the then deputy chief minister Ranga Rao.
As there was no progress in the case, massive agitations were taken up demanding the arrest of the culprits. Muslim United Front, Telugu Desam Party and various organisations demanded the then government to arrest the culprits.
Subsequently, as many as four people were taken into custody and questioned for several days. People’s organisations and relatives of the accused started agitations accusing the police of safeguarding the real culprits and trying to foist false cases against the innocent. Later, one Gurvinder Singh alias Laddu was taken into custody and questioned for several days. They let him off after Human Rights Commission intervened in the case.
The police nabbed Sathyam Babu in August 2008 and interrogated him for about five days. With this Dalit organisations and villagers of Anasagaram, native village of Sathyam Babu, in Nandigama mandal of Krishna district, staged protests against the police arrest. Ayesha’s parents also alleged that police were making Sathyam Babu a scapegoat to close the case guarding the true culprits.
After trial, the Women Special Sessions Court sentenced life imprisonment and 10 years rigorous imprisonment to Sathyam Babu. Challenging the court verdict, Sathyam Babu filed a petition in High Court. After eight years, the High Court acquitted Sathyam Babu.
Ayesha’s mother accuses Koneru and three others
“Right from the beginning, when the police brought Sathyam Babu into the scene, we were opposing it, as we were confident that the boy was innocent. The then commissioner of police CV Anand also knew who the accused were in my daughter’s murder case. In order to safeguard Koneru Satish (grandson of former deputy chief minister Koneru Ranga Rao), Koneru Suresh, Alluri Ganesh and Chintha Pavan Kumar who brutally murdered my daughter with the help of the hostel warden Padma and her husband I Sivarama Prasad, Sathyam Babu was falsely implicated in the case,” Shamshad Begum, mother of Ayesha said.
“Ayesha had witnessed that several boys were coming into the hostel with the help of warden. Satish, Suresh, Ganesh and Pavan Kumar on December 26 night, 2007 went to the hostel and decided to kill Ayesha fearing that she would leave the hostel and inform the police about their illegal activities. As planned they murdered her,” she said.
Sathyam Babu’s cousin demands compensation
Sathyam Babu’s cousin Yadala Ramesh said the police influenced by some big leaders had arrested his cousin brother. He claimed that at one time, the police even tried to kill Sathyam Babu in a fake encounter. “They had not even allowed him to see his father’s body and perform the last rites. Who will bring back his eight years of lost life,” he demanded to know. Ramesh said it was police brutality that left Sathyam Babu, who was not physically disabled, with badly injured leg. He demanded the government to own up the responsibility and compensate him justly.