Ten years after the brutal rape and murder of Ayesha Meera, a 17-year-old pharmacy student near Vijayawada, the Andhra police on Thursday said it was considering reopening the case.
Speaking to reporters, DGP N Sambasiva Rao said, “We may go for reinvestigation of the case subject to legal possibilities.” The decision to mull a reinvestigation is reportedly at the insistence of Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, who held a meeting with the DGP and Intelligence Chief AB Venkateswara Rao earlier in the day.
The development also comes nearly two weeks after the Hyderabad High Court acquitted P Satyam Babu, who had spent eight years in jail for a crime he did not commit. The Andhra police is now unlikely to challenge Satyam’s acquittal in the Supreme Court.
Ayesha Meera was a first-year pharmacy student and was living in a ladies hostel at Ibrahimpatnam near Vijayawada. Her blood-stained body was found in December 2007 in the hostel’s bathroom with multiple stab injuries. A year after her death, the police arrested Satyam Babu in a cell phone robbery case. The police, however, claimed that he had confessed to the murder during interrogation.
Satyam Babu was convicted by a Vijayawada women's special sessions court in 2010, and sentenced to imprisonment for life.
Last Friday, Ayesha Meera’s parents met the CM demanding a fresh probe into their daughter’s murder. When the case first broke out, Naidu, who was then the state's Opposition leader, had demanded that a fair enquiry into the incident.
Naidu was also among those who alleged that the YS Rajasekhara Reddy-led Congress government was covering up the case to protect influential politicians.
Ayesha’s parents had alleged that former Congress Minister Koneru Ranga Rao's grandson, Koneru Satish, frequently visited the hostel along with other relatives, including Koneru Suresh, Abburi Ganesh, Chinita Pawankumar and Rakesh.
They also alleged that the warden, Koneru Padma, allowed them to enter the girls' hostel as they were relatives.
The parents held these people squarely responsible for their daughter's death.