Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Police is all set
to issue notices to two key members of the Sathya Sai Central
Trust, and question them in connection with the transportation
of Rs 35.5 lakh cash in a vehicle from Puttaparthi town in
Anantapur district to Bangalore.
Police have sought legal opinion in this regard and once
they get it, they would move forward on issuing notices and to
question the two Trust members R J Ratnakar (who is nephew of
late Sathya Sai Baba) and Venu Srinivasan, a senior police
officer told agency.
"We cannot rule it (questioning the Trust members) out.
We are exploring the possibilities and are now seeking legal
opinion. We are in the process (of questioning) towards that.
Based on the legal opinion which will be known tomorrow...
we will move ahead," said the official, who is supervising the
investigations into the seizure of Rs 35.5 lakh from a vehicle
allegedly belonging to the Sathya Sai Central Trust.
The four-wheeler, carrying Rs 35.5 lakh in cash, was
confiscated during checking at Kodikonda checkpost under
Chilamanthur Police Station limits bordering Karnataka on June
Police so far have arrested three persons, including its
driver Harishnanda Shetty, besides Venu Srinivasan`s driver
Chandrashekhar alias Shekhar and one engineer Sohanshetty in
connection with the cash seizure.
As part of probe into the seizure of the cash, police
interrogated Pradhan, the Chief Security Officer of `Yajur
Mandir` -- the private chamber of Sai Baba.
Police were also in the process of questioning two more
persons who were identified as Sadashiv and Venkatesh (a
personal assistant of Srinivasan).
"We questioned Pradhan last night and this morning also.
We will soon interrogate two others Sadashiv and Venkatesh,
who are known to Harishnanda. We asked them to appear before
the police, however, the duo who are presently out of Andhra
Pradesh have sought for two day`s time," the official said,
adding if need be they would again interrogate Pradhan.
Amidst allegations that the seized cash was reportedly
being shifted from Yajur Mandir at Prashanti Nilayam in
Puttaparthi to Bangalore, a group of 12 Sai Baba`s devotees
(in their representation to the police) had claimed that the
money belonged to them and it was meant for the construction
of Sai Baba`s Maha Samadhi.
The amount was recovered a day after Sai Baba`s personal
chamber Yajur Mandir was opened on Friday, with the disclosure
that it contained 98 kg of gold, 307 kg of silver, apart from
Rs 11.56 crore in cash.