Friday, June 17, 2011

Gold, cash found in Sais personal chamber?

PUTTAPARTHI: The doors of the Satya Sai Baba’s personal chamber Yajurveda Mandir, rumoured to contain fabulous riches, were opened Thursday amid tight security. But officials of the Satya Sai Central Trust refused to say what they found.
The doors were opened in the presence of trust members Justice P N Bhagwati, Indulal Shah, S V Giri, L Srinivasan, R J Ratnakar, retired Supreme Court judges A K Mishra and Vaidyanathan, the Satya Sai Baba’s caretaker Satyajit, advocate Nagananda and Maharashtra Satya Sai Seva Dal president Ramesh Dhawan.
Sources said the trust has decided to submit an inventory of the contents to the government at the earliest.
It is learnt that some gold ornaments were found including rings and chains that the Sai Baba used to present to devotees, and in addition some cash and personal belongings of the Baba, including clothes. Sources said that some computers were discovered too, which are thought to contain information pertaining to the empire of the late spiritual guru.
Upon discovery of the gold and cash, trust members called the SBI’s Puttaparthi branch manager, who arrived to record the inventory. The Yajurveda Mandir was the abode of the Satya Sai Baba, built in 2006 at a cost of Rs 35 crore along the lines of a temple. He moved in in 2008. The doors of the sanctum were shut a week after the Baba was taken to hospital. Even as he lay battling for his life, rumours arose that a trove of gold was shifted from the Yajurveda Mandir to Bangalore and that some relatives of the Baba had carried away precious items. Alerted by media reports of the rumours, the district administration posted tight security at the sanctum.
While Satya Sai was in hospital, a team of High Court judges made a silent visit to Prashanti Nilayam and stayed at Shanti Bhavan. They were received by one Basha, a revenue inspector in the Puttaparthi tahsildar’s office. It is learnt that the team visited and spent some time in the Yajurveda mandir. After their departure in the evening, the doors were closed and remained so till Thursday morning.
Two advocates of Anantapur district went to court demanding opening of the doors to the sanctum in public presence and overseen by a special officer.
Meanwhile rumours spread that some trust members held the keys to the Yajurveda Mandir. On June 3, trust member R J Ratnakar, a nephew of Satya Sai, clarified that the keys were safe in a bank locker and that trust would meet to decide when to open the doors.

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