Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Aug 10:
On the first day of its interrogation of controversial godman Sarathi Baba alias Santosh Raula on Sunday, Odisha Crime Branch police has extracted information about huge properties acquired by the Baba, some of it in the name of Satyam Trust and others benami.
After rummaging through the Baba’s laptop and questioning him in the prsence of his chartered accountant Gitiranjan Mekap, Crime Branch sleuths have stumbled on long list of benami properties worth over crores in the name of several people, including some women with whom the Baba had an intimate relationship. While the Baba has revealed the name of some women, he is trying to hide the identity of others, Crime Branch sources said.
While the name of the women revealed by the Baba has stunned the Crime Branch, the agency has started investigation into the details of other women not identified by the Baba.
The Crime Branch sleuths, during a raid on the house of Chartered Accountant Gitiranjan Mekap in Kendrapara town on Sunday, seized a computer hard disk from which it has found that financial transactions worth coroes have been made done through the account of Satyam Charitable Trust. The money deposited in the Trust account has come from Odisha and the neighbouring states.
The sleuths are now investigating into the purpose of the Trust in receiving the money and its utilisation.
The Crime Branch in the meanwhile has seized 20 bank accounts belonging to Sarathi Baba and the Satyam Charitable Trust and asked the concerned banks to provide three-year statements of these accounts.
During interrogation of the Baba, the Crime Branch police have found huge immovable properties belonging to him and his Trust. Apart from Kendrapara, he has two houses in Bhubaneswar and a house in Puri, Crime Branch sources said.
The interrogation has also revealed the involvement of the Sarathi Baba in the activities of chit fund companies. Reliable sources in the Crime Branch said he had purchased a building at Shree Vihar in Patia from Sonam Sagar, wife of the chit fund accused Sagar Ray, on April 11, 2014.
Though the Crime Branch has found the Baba’s link with two other chit fund companies, it has refused to divulge the details of his links with these companies saying it would hamper the investigation.