Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Aug 13:
The Odisha Crime Branch police today interrogated the owner of a city-based tours and travels company, which had booked tickets for the air tarvel of self-styled Godman Srimad Sarathi Dev and his woman companion to Hyderabad.
During the course of its investigation, the Crime Branch sleuths had gathered information that the air tickets of the beleaguered spiritual guru and his woman cohort were booked by Sonthalia Online Services. Following this, the proprietor of the travel agency—Deepak Agarwal—was today called in for interrogation today.
According to sources, a representative of Sarathi Baba had gone to the travel agency on June 5 to book air tickets to Hyderabad by Indigo Airlines in the name of S Sarathi and Mrs Rosalin Mallick.
“I don’t know the person who had booked the tickets. He put me on phone to another person who provided the details about the passenger. I booked the tickets as per the information provided to me,” the proprietor of Sonthalia Online Service, Deepak Agarwal said.
While the date of onward journey was July 3, the return tickets were booked on July 12. However, the return tickets were later cancelled, Agarwal claimed.
Interestingly, the self-styled Godman had vehemently denied visiting Hyderabad in the first week of last month. But the expose by local television channels about the trip and the phone interview Sarathi Baba’s woman companion gave to Kanak TV confirming that she had indeed gone to Hyderabad nailed the Baba’s blatant lie.
Besides interrogating the Baba for the fifth day today, Crime Branch sleuths also interrogated special class civil contractor Bijay Rout for the second consecutive day for over eight hours on his alleged links with Sarathi Baba in dubious financial transactions.
Rout shared a very good rapport with Sarathi and frequented the ashram at Barimula. The bank statements of Sarathi reveal huge cash transfers between the duo. They were brought face to face and were interrogated today, Crime Branch sources said.