Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 13:
Their trust badly betrayed, thousands of disillusioned devotees of Sarathi Baba in Odisha have reacted in extreme fashion after the expose about the self-styled godman.
Revered and worshiped as the reincarnation of Lord Krishna only a week back, people are now throwing away everything that reminds them of the self-proclaimed godman.
More than 50 of his photographs that once had pride of place alongside Lord Jagannath and worshiped were found floating in the Kuakhai River near Bhubaneswar yesterday.
Many more pictures and stuff like holy ash and holy basil that were offered to the Baba and used to worship him were also found on the banks of the river.
More and more people are throwing away his images and doing everything possible to dissociate themselves from him after his financial irregularities and sexual escapades came to the fore recently through the media.
The shattered trust of people found new ways to come out as people even went on to spray cow dung mixed with water at his ashrams and places he visited to purify them.
Following the crime branch inquiry, crores have been seized from dozens of accounts opened in his and his trust’s name. The sexual escapades of the fake saint have not been less shocking.
Such is the anger against the Baba that people tried to pull him back by hair from police custody while he was being taken to Choudwar jail on judicial custody.
A front page report in a leading Odia newspaper, quoting sources in the Crime Branch, said the Baba prayed with CB officials not to let him go because he feared he would be ‘lynched’ by his erstwhile followers.