Over a decade after the murder, a division bench of the Hyderabad High Court on Friday ordered a reinvestigation into the sensational Ayesha Meera case by a Special Investigation Team (SIT).
The court said that the investigation must be done under its purview and that the first report must be submitted by the SIT by April 28.
The SIT will be headed by Visakhapatnam DIG Srikanth and will include DSP Hemavathi and Srilakshmi, reported 10TV. The SIT should not be transferred without the court’s permission, the order added.
On Ayesha’s 10th death anniversary, her parents, Syed Basha and Shamshad Begum, held a condolence meet at the Press Club in Vijayawada along with activists of various people’s organisations and urged an SIT probe into the case.
Ayesha Meera, a 17-year-old pharmacy student from Vijayawada, was brutally attacked, raped and killed on 27 December, 2007. Her body was found outside the toilet on the second floor of the Sri Durga Ladies Hostel in Ibrahimpatnam, where she was staying. The ‘murderer’ was even reported to have dropped a letter, which claimed that the girl was raped and killed for refusing his proposal.
In August 2008, almost a year after she was killed and after the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) took up the case, the police arrested Satyam Babu.
Satyam Babu was arrested in a cell phone robbery case on August 17 that year, and the police claimed that he had confessed to Ayesha’s murder during interrogation.
In 2010, the Mahila Sessions Court in Vijayawada sentenced him to life imprisonment for Ayesha’s rape and murder.
Ayesha’s parents had earlier alleged that relatives of former state Municipal Administration Minister Koneru Ranga Rao were involved in the rape and murder, and that the police had pinned the crime on Satyam Babu to misdirect the investigation.
In April 2017, Satyam Babu was acquitted by the Hyderabad High Court. The court also ordered action to be taken against the police officials who investigated the case.