Ayesha Meera murder case: Hyderabad HC orders fresh probe

Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court on Friday ordered a fresh probe into the rape and murder of a pharmacy student in Andhra Pradesh a decade ago.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan directed the police to conduct fresh probe and submit the report to the court by April 28.

Ayesha Meera, a 19-year-old bachelor of pharmacy student, was raped and brutally murdered in a private women’s hostel in Ibrahimpatnam near Vijayawada on December 27, 2007.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT), constituted by the state government in August last year, will conduct the investigations under the supervision of the court.

Headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police Ch. Srikanth, the SIT has DSPs D. Hemavathi and Sree Lakshmi and inspector Shehrunnisa Begum as the members.

The High Court directed that the SIT officials should not be transferred till the completion of the probe.

The court passed the orders on a writ petition filed by the parents of Ayesha Meera and the PIL filed by Prof Rama S. Melkote and two others seeking direction to the government to initiate re-investigation.

The sensational case took a dramatic turn in April last year when the High Court acquitted Satyam Babu, who was sentenced to life by a lower court in 2010.

Ayesha’s mother Shamshad Begum hailed the latest court order. She said this would ensure that the real culprits who are still roaming freely are brought to book. She said the police had arrested an innocent youth in the case to shield the real culprits.

Ayesha Meera was found dead in the bathroom of the hostel at Ibrahimpatanm near here, in the early hours of December 27, 2007. The police after investigations concluded that she was first murdered and then raped by Satyam Babu, who they said was given to sexual perversions.

The Mahila Court in Vijayawada, on September 10, 2010, convicted and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

After spending eight years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, Satyam Babu walked free after he was acquitted by the High Court, which also directed the state government to pay Babu Rs 1 lakh compensation for the wrongful conviction. It also ordered action against the police officers who investigated the case.

Meera’s parents alleged that Babu, a Dalit, was made a scapegoat to save the real culprits. They also alleged that relatives of then state minister Koneru Ranga Rao were involved in the crime.