Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar/ Balipatna, Sep 5:
Fearing police prosecution, the five main associates of Sura baba called ‘Panchasakha’ have gone into hiding after the arrest of the self-proclaimed godman and his sons.
These five were hands-in-glove with Sura Baba and were involved in the day-to-day working of the ashram trust, be it cash collection from devotees, arrangements for the Baba’s Rahas Leela or land grabbing. Sura Baba has revealed the names of these five associates to the crime branch during his interrogation and their arrest is expected to reveal the darker secrets about the ashram.
Trahi Achyuta Trust had around 45 members and it was run like a corporate office complete with different departments. Every Sunday, a meeting was held in a conference hall on the ground floor of the house where the Baba lives where Sura Baba, flanked by his two sons and close associates, reviewed the work of each department.
The trust has spread its tentacles into the economy of Achyutanagar and ran a wide range of services like running buses, hotels and shopping markets in the ashram’s name with the feared red army keeping a watch over everything and ensuring the smooth running of all operations.
The trust had a yearly budget with money deposited in a bank account situated in the ashram itself from where the the crime branch recently recovered Rs 67 lakhs in cash. The crime branch is currently trying to trace the whereabouts of the 45 members of the trust, who are now missing.
The crime branch had questioned three trustees yesterday. The long list of trustees is expected to include politicians, bureaucrats and police officials.