Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 7:
The woman at the centre of the controversy surrounding Srimad Sarathi alias Sarathi Baba alias Santosh Roula has herself nailed the lie proffered by the self-styled Odisha godman claiming he never went to Hyderabad nor stayed with any woman in a hotel there.
In an exclusive 20-minute long interview with leading television news channel Kanak TV over phone aired a short while ago, the mystery woman said she did go to Hyderabad, but sought to give a different spin to the whole episode claiming she was forced to accompany the Baba by four inmates of the Baba’s Barimula ashram.
“They have been blackmailing me for close to four months now with a video they claim to have of me taking bath during my stay in the ashram. They have been constantly threatening to kill me. One of the four has four murder cases pending against him,” the woman told Manoranjan Mishra, the Editor of Kanak TV, in the interview.
The four inmates had been constantly putting pressure on her to go with the Baba whenever he went out next.
She named Nandi, Khaga, Kishor and Kailash as the four persons who have been threatening and blackmailing her.
But curiously, when asked by the interviewer if she had seen the video with which these men were apparently blackmailing her, the student of SCB Medical College in Cuttack replied in the negative.
Vehemently defending her right to accompany the Baba, she said; “Why should anyone have a problem if I want to do seva (service) of the Baba who has been a source of strength and inspiration?” the 24-year old woman asked. “I am a major and every right to live my life as I wish,” she added.
“Only I know what I have got from the Baba. He saved me when I was going through a period of acute depression,” she said maintaining that the allegations of sexual misdemeanour being levelled against him are lies intended at defaming him. ‘If those have proof of what they are claiming, why don’t they come out with it?” she dared her detractors.
“It is a conspiracy against Sarathi Baba and I felt I had to come out to clear his name,” the woman said, clearly oblivious of the fact that far from clearing her benefactor’s name, her ‘coming out’ had actually done the exact opposite by showiing him to be a downright liar.
The self-styled Baba, it may be noted, had claimed the day after the controversy broke that he had never gone to Hyderabad nor stayed with any woman there.
In the process, she also proved that her mother was also lying when she told media persons yesterday that her daughter had never gone to Hyderabad and was very much in her hostel during the period in question.
Coming down hard on those who have been showing her in lurid light, the woman said between sobs that she was under tremendous mental stress due to the adverse publicity she had been receiving in both mainstream and social media over the last couple of days.
Asked if she would lodge an FIR against the people who were blackmailing her, the woman said she would do so soon.
In fact, reports started doing the rounds this evening that she had indeed lodged an FIR at the Mangalabag police station in Cuttack seeking police protection from her tormentors and action against those who had been defaming her in the social media.
But Arun Kumar Swain, IIC, Mangalabag police station, confirmed to OST that no such FIR had been lodged by the concerned woman.