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June 26, 2011 15:35 IST / http://www.rediff.com
Giving a completely new dimension to the entire controversy that dogged the temple town of Puttaparthi, Ratnakar -- a trustee in the Sri Satya Sai Central Trust and Sai Baba's nephew -- has said that the Rs 35.5 lakh, which was seized in transit by the police, did not belong to the trust.
On being questioned about this money, Ratnakar said the money belonged to the devotees. The money was being legitimately transported to be handed over to a builder who is undertaking the work on Baba's Samadhi.
The trust has been mired in controversy ever since the death of Satya Sai Baba recently.
Almost a month after his death, the trustees entered Baba's residence -- the Yajur Mandir -- and opened his locker.
In the locker, they found Rs 11.5 crore in cash apart from gold and silver articles. All this was deposited and the trust issued a statement in which it was said that all the articles, including the cash, were properly valuated and deposited in the bank in the presence of officials of both the bank and the Income Tax department.
However, a couple of days later the police arrested three persons when they were transporting cash of Rs 35.50 Lakh from the Ashram.
During the interrogation, one of the persons identified as Shekhar said that he was specifically told to park the car in the Ashram and keep the boot of the vehicle open. The cash was then loaded into the car and was supposed to be handed over to a person who is from Bengaluru. However, the police managed to intercept them and arrest these persons apart from seizing the cash.
In his media statement, he also claimed that all trust activities are being carried out in strict accordance of statutory requirements!
Then, how come heavy cash of Rs. 35,50,000/- were being smuggled from Andhra-Karnataka border - claimed to be to be handed over to a builder who is undertaking the work on Baba's Samadhi - whereas all legitimate transactions above Rs. 10,000/- to be carried out through Cheque transactions only?
Initially, he even denied that money belonged to him and now when he is corndered by the Police, he makes some specious claims?
There is more than meets the eye in the management of Sai Central Trust and all other entities of Saibaba, hence apart from other ongoing investigations, IT & ED surveys should be conducted on all the members of the Trust!
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