SC commutes death sentence of BA Umesh, gives him 30-year sentence
BA Umesh alias Umesh Reddy, whose rap sheet at one time extended to 18 murders and 20 rapes across Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat, was eventually convicted in nine cases
The Supreme Court has commuted the death sentence given to serial rapist and murderer BA Umesh alias Umesh Reddy, converting the punishment to a 30-year life imprisonment sentence.
In an order issued on Friday, the court commuted Reddy’s sentence on the grounds that he had been placed in solitary confinement for 10 years.
In 2021, the Karnataka high court had rejected Reddy’s appeal to commute the death sentence. His mercy plea was rejected by the President in 2012.
Reddy, whose rap sheet at one time extended to 18 murders and 20 rapes across Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat, was eventually convicted in nine cases. He was sentenced to death by a sessions court in Bengaluru in 2006 for the rape and murder of a 37-year-old woman in Peenya.
A former policeman, Reddy has been lodged in the Belagavi jail since November 6, 2011.
“Reddy heaved of a sigh of relief after he was told his punishment was turned into life imprisonment,” jail superintendent Krishnakumar told HT. The SP added that the state prison department had not received the order copy so far.
According to data available with the police, Reddy joined the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) 1996 and was posted in Jammu and Kashmir as a guard at the house of a commandant. There, he attempted to rape the commandant’s daughter. Though he was arrested, he managed to escape and returned to Chitradurga.
In 1996, he joined the District Armed Reserve (DAR) Police.
Speaking to HT earlier, BN Nyamagouda, the police inspector who arrested Reddy described him as a ruthless killer who managed to escape the police at least five times.
“There were no systems in place then to check backgrounds of people, so after running away from CRPF, he came to Chitradurga and became a constable in District Armed Reserve (DAR) in November 1996. But he didn’t stick around there either, because he was caught in a rape case there as well,” Nyamegowda had said.
Officials familiar with Reddy’s case revealed a shocking trajectory of heinous crimes from that point on.
In November 1996, Umesh attempted to rape a high school girl in Chitradurga. She managed to escape by hitting him with a stone. A month later, he raped and murdered a 16-year-old in the same town. In January 1997, the girl he attempted to rape identified him at a Republic Day police parade and he was then arrested and dismissed from service.
Subsequently, Reddy fled from police custody while being shifted from Chitradurga to Bellary. According to police records, after his escape, Reddy killed an income tax officer’s wife in Bengaluru, a girl in Ahmedabad, two girls in Vadodara, and a woman in Kunigal town of Tumakuru district in Karnataka. During this period, he managed to escape from police custody six times.
On February 28, 1998, he raped and murdered a 37-year-old woman in her house in Peenya. Soon after that, he attempted to rape a woman in the same locality but the woman raised an alarm and he tried to escape by jumping off the first floor of the house. Reddy injured his ankle due to the jump and was caught by local residents and handed over to the police.
During investigations, it was found that Reddy had a habit of stealing the clothes of the women he targeted. In 2002, when he was arrested in Bengaluru, he was found wearing lingerie. When police checked his bags, they found various articles of women’s clothing.