Our stand has been vindicated and the amount of Rs 34.5 lakh does belong to Prashanthi Nilayam (Sathya Sai Baba's ashram in Puttaparthi), said Shahnawaz Kasim, deputy superintendent of police, Ananthpur district. He was speaking on the backdrop of two trustees of the Shri Sathya Sai Central Trust being questioned by the police in connection with a case in which Rs 35.5 lakh was being transported out of Puttaparthi.
"Both R Ratnakar (Sai Baba's nephew and a member of the trust) and Srinivasan (another trustee) have been interrogated and their statements will be compared. They have also given us the names of the two devotees who they claim the money belonged to. We will question them also," the Kasim said.
The trustees had claimed that the money belonged to the devotees who were contributing the same towards the construction of Baba's Maha Samadhi.
Further, Kasim also said that they had always maintained that the money was coming out of Prashanthi Nilayam even when the trustees claimed otherwise.
Kasim also informed that the police had written a letter to the income tax department and sought their assistance in getting the financial transactions of the trust. The Andhra Pradesh government too has shot off notices returnable in ten days to the trust.