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Rediff.com  » News » Andhra police issue notice to two Sai Baba trustees

Andhra police issue notice to two Sai Baba trustees

June 22, 2011 11:27 IST
The Andhra Pradesh police on Wednesday issued a legal notice to two Sathya Sai Baba trustees in Puttaparthi over the Rs 35.5 lakh seized from a car belonging to the Sathya Sai Central Trust, which manages the affairs of the late spiritual guru.

The two trustees -- R Rathnakar and Venu Srinivasan -- were served notices by the Hindupur police and have been asked to be present for questioning in three days.

The police had seized the cash at Bagepally tollgate near Hindupur town in Anantapur district and arrested the driver, Harishnanda Shetty. The driver told the police that he was asked to park the vehicle with the boot open near the Yajur Mandir, the residence of the Sai Baba at Prashanti Nilayam in Puttaparthi, following which the cash was loaded.

The money was seized two days after the trust opened Yajur Mandir. The trust members said that they had found Rs 11.6 crore in cash and also gold and silver at Baba's residence.

The cash, gold and silver have been deposited in a bank in the presence of officials.

Devotees have been claiming that the seized money cash was taken out of the Yajur Mandir, while the trustees maintained that there was no connection between this and the funds found in Sai Baba's room.

Deputy Superintendent of Police K Krishna in Ananthpur district had stated that there is no doubt that the money seized from the car on Sunday was being transported from Puttaparthi.

As investigations into this case progress, the police are finding more links. They suspect that some of the cash in the Yajur Mandir may not be accounted for.

The interrogation of the two trustees will help police in further investigations. The police have also been recording the statements of the family members of Sai Baba. They have said that the trust cannot wash its hands of this case.

Vicky Nanjappa