Accused in Andhra girl’s murder held after escape

Hyderabad, May 22 (Calcutta Tube) A few hours after he escaped from police custody, the prime accused in the 2007 rape and murder of a teenager in Vijayawada town was Saturday arrested in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh.

Police said P. Satyam Babu, who gave police the slip while he was being transported back to Vijayawada from a hospital here, was arrested in Jaggaiahpet town of Krishna district.

Babu escaped at Suryapet in Nalgonda district after midnight Friday when the policemen escorting him got down at a hotel for food. Police were taking the 22-year-old to Vijayawada after treatment at a hospital.

A police officer in Jaggaiahpet took Babu into custody when he was begging for money from locals.

Earlier, Vijayawada Police Commissioner P.S.R. Anjaneyulu suspended 11 policemen, including a sub-inspector, two head constables and eight constables, who were escorting the accused – on charges of negligence.

However, there were hardly any takers for the police version.

Relatives of the accused and rights activists alleged that the police were trying to eliminate him in a staged shootout to shield the real culprits in the case.

They pointed out that Babu can’t even walk as he suffered from a neurological disorder. The doctors at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) confirmed that he could hardly walk.

Police claimed that Babu raped and murdered 19-year-old pharmacy student Ayesha Miran at a hostel in Vijayawada on the night of Dec 27, 2007.

Her body with stab injuries was found in the bathroom. A letter dropped by the ‘murderer’ stated that the girl was raped and murdered for refusing his request for ‘love’.

Babu was arrested in August 2008. Police earlier arrested two people but released them after the State Human Rights Commission intervened on petitions filed by their relatives.

Ayesha’s parents also rejected the police claim that Babu murdered her and alleged that police were trying to save some politically influential people.

Earlier this month, Babu’s mother P. Mariyamma tried to launch a hunger strike in Hyderabad, alleging the police was implicating him in a false case and torturing him.

It was on her petition that the high court last month ordered the police to make arrangements for his treatment in Hyderabad.

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