Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 7:
As if the damning revelations about his rendezvous in Hyderabad was not damaging enough, new evidence emerging in the aftermath of the controversy hint at the possibility that self-styled godman Shrimad Sarathi may have had a finger in the Odisha chit fund scam pie too.
In an exclusive report aired on Thursday, Zee Kalinga news channel claimed Sarathi Baba’s son Satyam Sekhar Roula (20) purchased a plot of land along with a 2000 sq ft duplex house on it in Patia area here for Rs 55 lakh in April, 2014.
The sale deed of the property (plot no.516/1746/4631, area 46 decimal in Patia mouza under Bhubaneswar tehsil in Chadrasekharpur police limits with a duplex building having 2000 sq ft area) was registered in Satyam’s name on April 11, 2014, the channel said.
Knowledgeable circles in the real estate market, however, say the price purported to have been paid for the land and the building has to be taken with a bagful of salt given the prevailing market scenario. It could not cost anything less than Rs 2 crore at the market rate, they aver.
But even if he actually paid Rs 55 lakh, the question that inevitably arises is: where did Satyam, all of 20 with no known source of income, get so much money from? The inference is clear: it is part of the money given as donation/gift to his father by his devotees.
But the more interesting part of this story is Satyam purchased the land and building from Sonam Sagar Ray (27), wife of Sagar Ray, an accused in the chit fund arrested by the CBI and currently in jail.
The sale took place at a time when chit fund companies and those with links to them were under the scanner. Sagar Ray, it may be noted, was arrested by the CBI on November 14, 2014, a few months after his wife sold the property to Srimad Sarathi’s son Satyam.
Interestingly, Sagar Ray’s wife had purchased the land in question from Pranab Balabantaray, BJD MLA from Dharmashala and son of former Rjya Sabha member late Kalpataru Das, in 2010.
The channel claimed the Crime Branch had initiated a probe into the alleged links of the controversial baba with the chit fund scam. A total of six suspect cases, including the Patia land deal, would be probed, Zee Kalinga quoted Crime Branch ADG Bijay Kumar Sharma as saying.
The Crime Branch will probe Sarathi and his son Satyam’s complicity in the chit fund scam, the channel said.