The Hyderabad High Court, today, has released Pidatala Satyam Babu, in the rape and murder case, of Ayesha Meera, in Andhra Pradesh.
The Mahila Sessions Court, in Vijayawada had sentenced Satyam Babu to life imprisonment, in 2010, for the murder of Ayesha Meera.
The Court, further directed the Andhra Pradesh authorities to pay Rs 1 lakh compensation to the youth, who spent eight years in jail without any proof of his involvement.
It also ordered action against the police officers, who investigated the case.
The family of the youth had challenged the lower court’s order in then Andhra Pradesh and now the Hyderabad High Court, which is serving both the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
The 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 the 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.
The Police had picked up few suspects, but later released them as no proof was found.
Satyam Babu was arrested in a cell phone theft case on August 17, 2008 and police had mentioned, that he confessed to her homicide throughout the interrogation.
The youth has been suffering from Guillain-Barre (GB) Syndrome, which had badly affected his nervous system and his two legs have been paralyzed. His mother Mariyamma alleged that her son was falsely implicated in the case to save some influential people.
The arrest had created a sensation within the State as the girl’s parents had claimed that the Dalit youth is being made a scapegoat to save the true culprits.
Dalit organizations and human rights activists had additionally protested the arrest of Satyam Babu, claiming that he is innocent.
The victim’s parents, Shamshad Begam and Iqbal Basha professed that, family member of a then State Minister Koneru Ranga Rao was involved in the rape and murder and to mislead the investigations, Satyam Babu was arrested.
Following Friday’s Court order, Meera’s parents mentioned Rs.1 crore must be given compensation for Satyam Babu, and demanded the government to arrange a fast-track Court to try and punish the real culprits.
Legal experts and rights activists, criticized the negligence of the police officials, in protecting the scene of offence.
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.