Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack/ Kendrapara, Aug 29:
Close aide of disgraced self-styled godman Srimad Sarathi Dev, Sarat Patra, who was arrested by Odisha Crime Branch police on Friday will be forwarded to court today.
Patra will be produced in the Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) court at Kendrapara. The Crime Branch will seek to take Patra on remand for three days, sources in the Crime Branch said. He will be produced before the SDJM Kendrapara around 12.30 PM today, they added.
Patra who was summoned by the Crime Branch to its headquarters on Friday for interrogation was later arrested in the afternoon. He was arrested on the basis of FIRs lodged by two women. The women have accused Patra of threatening them on behalf of Srimad Sarathi, outraging their modesty etc.
It was the complaint of the mother and daughter duo who were victims of molestation and exploitation at the Barimul ashram of Sarathi Baba that turned the case against Patra while the statement recorded before a magistrate under section 164 CrPC of the woman who had lodged the FIR at the Mangalabag police station on behalf of the controversial medico who had accompanied Sarathi to Hyderabad tightened the noose around Patra’s neck leading to his arrest.
Patra has been charged under Sec 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property, 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation and 120(b) (Punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.
He used to allegedly force women to have physical relationship with Santosh Roul alias Sarathi Baba.
Notably, Patra, a school teacher, was placed under suspension by the School and Mass Education department on August 13 on charges of neglecting his duty.
Patra was working as a Mathematics teacher at Mahanga Birbhadreswar High School.
Among the closest associates and followers of Sarathi Baba, Patra was the person who held press meet at Bhubaneswar in defence of the Baba after news broke about his escapades in Hyderabad.
Patra had said the Baba’s followers would take appropriate action against the media houses for airing ‘false reports’ on the Baba.