Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 5:
Members of various women’s organizations gheraoed the devotees of the controversial god man and self-styled spiritual guru Srimad Sarathi, who were holding a press conference at the Rashtra Bhasa Prachar Samiti in the Odisha capital.
As the situation turned tense, these devotees had to be whisked away by the police in police vehicles to a safer place. Their vehicle too was taken into control by the police.
Protestors demanded the arrest of the controversial spiritual guru Srimad Sarathi and confiscation of his properties which allegedly runs into crores of rupees.
The devotees of the controversial god man at the press meet denied that the photographs aired on some television channels and appearing in some newspapers of a man in jeans and T-shirt was that of Srimad Sarathi. They said Sarathi Baba has done no wrong.
“The reports aired in some sections of the media are not true. Sarathi Baba never stayed in the hotel in Hyderabad where he is shown as staying and he was away at Ujjain during the relevant period,” the supporters said.
When asked by reporters to produce documents in support of their claim, they said they had none.
While they were about to depart from the venue of the press meet, they were gheraoed by the women protestors when police had to intervene to rescue them.
“The local administration was aware of that fake god man’s activities. He flourished with political patronage. The government has to immediately arrest him and probe his accounts and the accounts of those who have funded him,” said a woman protestor.
“His property should be confiscated. It was all happening with the administration’s knowledge. He has played with the religious sentiments of the Odia people. He should be immediately arrested,” said another woman protestor.
Reports of protests are also coming in from various other places in the state. A report from Baleswar said protesters burnt the effigy of the controversial baba while one from Cuttack said cow dung was thrown by disillusioned devotees at the Sarathi Ashram in Cuttack city.
The man in question seen on the television screen has an uncanny resemblance with Sarathi Baba, the Kendarpara based spiritual guru who claims to be an incarnation of Lord Krishna, the only difference being in the attire. While the Baba is usually clad in all whites, the man in the picture is seen wearing a blue T-shirt and jeans.
An exclusive expose aired on television channel News 7 all day on Tuesday claimed the godman had checked into Hotel Golconda in the posh Banjara Hills area in Hyderabad city in the first week of July with a woman companion, who he introduced as his wife at the reception.
The duo had spent three days in the four-star hotel and the godman had presented his voter ID card as identity proof while checking in, the report claimed.
The woman, in her 20s, is said to be a medical student in Cuttack.
The report carried an interview with Kailash Chandra Mallick, who worked for the Baba for nearly a decade before parting ways with him, during which he made some explosive revelations about his former employer.
Mallick claimed that Sarathi Baba clandestinely carries the bibhuti that he claims to produce out of thin air in an effort to impress his existing and potential disciples.
Contrary to the image of an austere, plain living ascetic that he has assiduously cultivated, the Baba gorges on liquor and non-vegetarian food, Mallick claimed.
Among the items ordered by the Baba during his stay in Room No 607 of the hotel were ‘tandoor chicken’ and ‘foreign liquor’, the channel claimed.
The man who has christened himself ‘Srimad Sarathi’ has a bevy of women, most of them in the age group of 22-27, with whom he spends exclusive hours in his private space, Mallick said in his tell-all interview.