Amaravati: The Hyderabad High Court’s judgement acquitting Pidatala Satyam Babu of the crime of B Pharmacy student, Ayesha Mira’s alleged rape and murder in her hostel in December 2007, had exposed the failure of the investigation and even the trial. The victims, the families of the deceased and the accused, are now crying foul and continue to seek justice. It is a fact that the courts and the investigating agencies could not bring back the life of the girl who was killed. They could not give back the precious 8 years jail term of the accused, Satyam Babu. Against these, they have not identified the real culprits of the crime.
Ayesha Mira, who was studying B Pharmacy first year had returned to her hostel on December 26, 2007 evening along with her mother after the Christmas holidays. She and her mother found only three senior students in the hostel, besides the family members of the warden and the workers. The three seniors were not in good terms with Ayesha as she was their junior and when her mother tried to have a word with them, they did not respond. Later, her mother went back to her home in Tenali only to be called in the morning by the hostel warden’s husband to say that Ayesha is not well.
The girl was found dead in a pool of blood close to the washrooms of the hostel, outside her hostel room. She was naked and her hands and legs were tied to the water tap with her clothes. The news spread like wild fire sending shock waves across the nation. The post-mortem report said that the girl was killed first and the body was raped later (an act of paraphilia).
The fingers were first pointed at Koneru Satish Babu, a former sarpanch of Gudavalli village near Gannavaram, who is also the grandson of then deputy chief minister Koneru Ranga Rao. As the hostel is located in Ibrahimpatnam, the local Congress leader Ch Madhava Rao’s role was suspected and Satish Babu’s involvement was thus justified as Madhava Rao was his follower.
Though the news broke out in the early morning, the police, including those from Ibrahimpatnam, reached the spot late, giving scope for people to move around the scene of offence, destroying or disturbing the evidences. Ironically, the police who reached the spot complained of the destruction of the evidence with the presence of people in the scene of offence.
What the Police did?
Having reached the venue late giving scope for the destruction of evidence at the scene of offence, the police picked up the youth in the vicinity creating panic among the people. The police were tough with the youth around, while being so soft towards Satish Babu or his loyalist Madhava Rao. The police have picked up over 1000 youth from the area and questioned them for hours together horrifying them and their families. When there was uproar from the locals and the human rights activists, the police stopped picking up the local youth and set their eyes on the relatives of the victim. They pointed an accusing finger at a relative of the girl and then arrested one person, Sivanjaneyulu, an acquaintance with Ayesha Mira’s family. The police conducted all tests on him but dropped him later only to arrest another person, Upendra Singh, an accused in some theft cases. He was declared as offender and sent for tests. When his parents complained, he too was let free and the police once again arrested Gurvinder Singh alias Laddu. This youth, a small time offender, was subjected to the police kind of investigation and was declared as the real culprit. The police claimed all evidences against him. But, when Laddu’s parents challenged the case in the court with all the evidences to prove that he was not around Vijayawada on the day of the offence, the court released him.
Caught in the thick of public criticism, the police have again rounded up a Dalit youth, Pidatala Satyam Babu, from Anasagaram village close to Nandigama and showed him as the accused in the case. His parents and the human rights activists protested against Satyam Babu’s arrest and alleged that the police have framed the charges against this young daily wage worker. He was subjected to all tests and interrogation. The young and energetic youth finally suffered multiple injuries to his body and finally suffered a disorder that had finally made him crippled. He is now unable to walk and has to be moved around in a wheel chair.
Who lost – who gained?
In the entire episode, the victims have been the losers. The girl had lost her life and her parents have lost their daughter. Those who were accused in the case at every stage have lost their precious years and Satyam Babu, who has been in the jail for 8 years had lost his precious youthful time and his health. His parents have lost their healthy son upon whom they were to depend in their old age. The son now would have to depend on the aged parents, if he is out of jail.
Shockingly, the real culprits are not identified and they are safe. Those who were initially accused – the Congress leaders – are happy and have no charges framed against them. The political parties which have used the crime to trade charges against each other for a few years enjoy the powers. The police officials who have handled the case and who were expected to identify the real culprits do continue in their positions with promotions over the years.