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Ordinary devotees still can't see their God

Last updated on: April 26, 2011 13:16 IST

Ordinary devotees still can't see their God

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Ordinary devotees flocking Prasanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi for a final darshan of Sathya Sai Baba are disappointed as they are unable to catch a glimpse of his mortal remains even as the rich and the mighty are being extended special privileges to get closer to his body.

The queue lines for the common devotees are blocked at least 30 feet away from the glass casket in which the Baba's body is lying, depriving them of a clear view.

Added to this, a platform erected for a lone camera, along with the equipment and the cameraman too are blocking the view for the devotees, leaving them totally anguished.

VIPs apart, only a select few are being allowed to go near the Baba's body for a clear darshan.

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Image: Devotees stand in a queue to pay their last respects to the spiritual guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
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"We came all the way from Payakaraopet in Visakhapatnam district and stood in the serpentine queue for more than three hours in the wee hours today.

"In the end, as we entered the Sai Kulwanth Hall, we could hardly catch a glimpse of the Baba's body.All we could see from the distance was the Baba's orange robes as the face was not at all visible," complained N Appalanaidu.

His wife and son too could not see anything as suddenly some influential person went near the Baba's body and they were pushed aside in the queue.

While the VIPs and the rich devotees, who are said to be regular donors to the Satya Sai Central Trust, are able to get up close to the Baba's body, another special line was formed a few feet away to enable friends and relatives of Trust members, government officials and police to get a glimpse.



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From this line, the Baba's face can be seen from a side angle but access is restricted only to a select few.

Many foreign devotees who flew down to Puttaparthi too are decrying the discrimination. "During my earlier visit to Sai Kulwanth Hall when the Baba was alive, I could see him closely. Now, I had no such luck," Dissanayike from Sri Lanka lamented.

The situation turned worse this morning as the queue was moved further behind as a security measure in view of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit. Further security restrictions are expected to be put in place by the time Dr Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi reach the Hall for paying homage to Baba around 4.45 pm.


Image: Devotees wait to enter the ashram to pay their last respects to Sathya Sai Baba

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Meanwhile, Sathya Sai Baba's trusted aide Satyajit has been given police protection following intelligence inputs that he may be facing a threat to his life.

Satyajit, a native of Tamil Nadu, had been the Baba's main "caretaker" for many years.

He, however, had been facing a lot of allegations ever since the Baba was hospitalised on March 28. The main allegation was that Satyajit did not feed the Baba proper food and gave him lot of sedative drugs, resulting in deterioration of the latter's health, police sources said.

Doctors who treated the Baba in the Satya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences neither confirmed nor denied that sedative drugs were given to him prior to his admission in hospital following respiratory problems.

"There are some people within the Ashram as well as outside who are antagonistic to Satyajit. There is a possibility of someone causing harm to his life in the wake of the Baba's demise. As such he is being provided police protection," a senior police official said.


Image: The body of Sathya Sai Baba lies in a glass sepulchre

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