Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Kendrapara, Aug 6:
Tension continued to prevail at the ashram of controversial self-styled godman Sarathi Baba at Barimula in Odisha’s Kendrapara district today as a fall-out of the lathi-charge by the police on an irate mob which tried to barge into the ashram last night demanding a clarification from the Baba about the revelations in the media.
Sarathi Baba’s photograph flashed in a television report in which he was seen in jeans and T-shirt sporting a fancy Rayban goggles in the lobby of a posh Hyderabad hotel has caused dismay while the charge that he had checked in to the Golconda Hotel with a young woman posing as his ‘wife’ has sparked off outrage both among his supporters and the lay public.
According to reports, security has been beefed up in and around the ashram with deployment of nine platoons of police force.
Police are keeping a close watch on the movement of the people inside the ashram.
Talking to the media, Kendrapara SP Satish Gajviye said the situation is under control and the police have taken necessary steps to ensure law and order situation in the area.
Replying to a question on whether the police have begun investigation on the basis of the complaints against Sarathi Baba at several police stations in the district, he said the police have started investigation as per the directive of the district collector.
He, however, clarified that the police have not received any FIR against the Baba so far.
“We are conducting inquiries on the basis of the complaints lodged in the police stations,” he added.
Talking to the media yesterday, Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjeev Marik had said several complaints had been lodged in various police stations against Sarathi Baba. “Appropriate action would be taken after investigations,” he had said.
About 4-5 persons were injured when police resorted to lathi charge near the ashram last night.
Several people of the nearby villages marched towards the ashram in the evening to seek clarification from the Baba about the photos and reports flashed on a local TV channel.
Trouble started when the irate mob had a scuffle with the police while trying to barge into the ashram premises.
As the situation went out of control, police resorted to lathi charge to disperse the agitators.