Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 9:
Even as television channels in Odisha are vying for credit for bringing down controversial godman Srimad Sarathi Dev, a little know publication called ‘Bajrakila’ , which pursued the case relentlessly for over two years publishing a series of exposes on the Baba and the shady goings-on inside his ashram at Barimula, has remained largely ignored.
The so-called exposes on which TV channels are patting themselves on the back (one channel even ‘celebrating’ the ‘win’ with a cake!) were all there in black and white for two full years on the pages of ‘Bajrakila’: the transformation of Santosh Raul to Srimad Sarathi Dev, the sex racket running in the ashram at Barimula, the relationship between Sarathi and Satyam, why Baba’s close aid Kailash deserted him, how ashram turned into a haven for antisocials, where Sarathi learnt magic tricks, why the Godman used to remain absent in his ashram in Kendrapara during Rath Yatra and the girls with whom he had spent nights outside Odisha, the escapades of Baba at his Shree Vihar residence here … you name it.
Like their counterparts elsewhere, the big daddies of the media in Odisha have long been in the habit of usurping the painstaking groundwork done by small, little known publications and passing them off as their ‘exclusive expose’ without so much as an acknowledgment or a ‘Thank You’ note.
Understandably upset at this brazen usurpation, the weekly compiled all its investigative reports on the Baba’s immoral activities and published a special edition yesterday, informed publisher of the weekly, Pandit Biswanath Satapathy at a press conference here on Saturday.
“We have vital information on Sarathi Baba’s deceitful practices. We have been publishing reports against the con man, but the state government and the district police have always looked the other way for reasons that are all too obvious,” alleged the Editor of ‘Bajrakila’, Baradaprasanna Satapathy.
During the press conference, the persons associated with the newspaper made some startling revelations.
Betel nut vendor to Srimad Sarathi Dev!
Santosh Raul, originally from Icchapuram in Andhra Pradesh, spent his childhood and youth in Kendrapara. Santosh, a dropout, attended college in this coastal town as his father was posted there. But before moving to Kendrapara, he was in Brahmapur. He ran away from the Silk City fearing arrest on charges of stealing a bicycle, ‘Bajrakila’ claimed in one of his reports.
After vanishing from Kendrapara for nearly seven years and reappearing in 1992, he had constructed a thatched house at Barimula and started living there. In the meantime, he came in contact with Kaali Maa’s husband with whom he ventured into betel nut trading. Later, he manufactured detergent soap and marketed it under the brand name of ‘CK’, resembling a popular national brand.
Apprenticeship in occult in Bhubaneswar
As part of his efforts to find ways of making quick money, he moved to Bhubaneswar to learn magic tricks. He stayed at Haladipadiya Slum under Laxmisagar police station limits for around two years to learn the tricks of the mystic practices. On return to Kendrapara after a gap of two years, he opened an ashram at the place where he was living. His first disciple was a school teacher. Initially, he named himself as Kali Baba, Santiya, Sarathi and finally stuck to Srimad Sarathi.
Relationship between Srimad Sarathi Dev and Satyam:
Who is the person in his early 20s who is known as the supposedly Sarathi Baba’s ‘son’ and oversees the ashram activities? Why has the self-styled Godman named the Trust after te youngster? Why has he registered two flats on the latter’s name? A tell-all report was published by ‘Bajrakila’ answering these queries. As per the report, Satyam is the son of one Kaali Maa, who lived in a thatched house on the outskirts of the Kendrapara town until she came in contact with Sarathi. Santosh alias Sarathi and the woman’s husband did betel nut business together for 15 years. During that period, Kaali Maa gave birth to Satyam. With the rise of Sarathi Baba, the riches of the woman, who is a millionaire now, grew exponentially within a short spa. She now owns a three-storied building in Kendrapara. The woman occasionally visits Sarathi in his ashram late in the night, the newspaper had reported last year.
SP’s blackmoney stashed in the underground room of the ashram!
The former Kendrapara SP Satish Gajbhiye and several ruling party leaders of the district had very good relationship with the Godman. A report on this was published by ‘Bajrakila’ in May last week this year. As per the report, 12 legislators and a parliamentarian shared a good rapport with the controversial spiritual leader. An underground room on the south side of the ashram houses the blackmoney of Gajbhiye and it should be investigated by the Crime Branch, the Editor of ‘Bajrakila’ demanded.
Sex racket in the ashram:
The mystery woman, who accompanied the Baba to Hyderabad in July and unwittingly spelt his doom in the process, is not the only woman who has accompanied the self-proclaimed godman on his periodic visits outside the state. Numerous other girls have accompanied Baba to various places and have spent nights with him at hotels. Baba had physical relationship with more than 15 girls. Sex racket was running in his Shree Vihar residence and ashram, which was published by ‘Bajrakila’ long ago. This must be investigated, chief editor of ‘Bajrakila’ Pradyumna Jena demanded.
The cemented ‘milch’ cow
He had constructed a cement cow in the ashram that used to produce milk at his wish. The cement animal was filled with powdered milk and his men spread the news that the cow is producing milk when Baba touches her; this was also reported by ‘Bajrakila’ earlier.