98 kg gold, Rs 12 crore found in Sathya Sai’s room

Around Rs 12 crore in cash and nearly 100 kg of gold were found from Yajur Mandir.

Hyderabad: Around Rs 12 crore in cash and nearly 100 kg of gold were found in the personal chamber of late spiritual guru Sathya Sai Baba at Prashanti Nilayam, his ashram in Puttaparthi in Anantapur district, a trust official said on Friday.

A day after the Sathya Sai Central Trust opened the locks of the Baba`s personal chamber, Yajur Mandir, his nephew and trust member RJ Ratnakar on Friday evening announced details of the cash and valuables found inside.

He told reporters at Puttaparthi that the trust members found Rs 11.56 crore, 98 kg gold and gold jewellery, 307 kg silver articles in the personal chamber where nobody was allowed to enter. Ratnakar said the cash would be deposited with the State Bank of India (SBI).

Some bank officials and about 15 disciples of Baba, in the presence of trust members, have since Thursday counted the cash with the help of currency counting machines. The Yajur Mandir is an opulent residence built by Baba.

Ratnakar said Baba`s residential quarter was opened in the presence of all five members of the trust. A former judge of the Supreme Court, AP Misra, and former Karanataka High Court judge Vaidyanathan were present as independent witnesses while an assessor approved by the Income Tax department was there to evaluate the gold, jewellery and silver.

Ratnakar claimed the idea behind the whole exercise was to make an inventory of all the items in a transparent manner.

The trust reportedly found gold statues of Hindu gods and diamonds.

Ratnakar, however, denied that they found any will of Baba. He also evaded queries if the trust found any documents about Baba`s personal caregiver Satyajit. There are speculations that the spiritual guru wanted to make Satyajit his successor or a member of the powerful trust.

Yajur Mandir, also known as Yajurveda Mandir, had remained closed ever since Sathya Sai Baba was hospitalised on March 28 with multi-organ dysfunction. He died on April 24.

There were allegations by a section of devotees that large amounts of cash and gold jewellery were shipped out of the place when Baba was battling for life. The trust, however, has denied this.

Some devotees were also demanding that the locks of Baba`s personal chamber be opened in their presence or at least in the presence of media persons.

The trust, which manages the huge spiritual empire led by Baba, owns assets in Puttaparthi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and other cities.

Meanwhile, the trust has decided to open Yajur Mandir for devotees on July 15. It also plans to open a museum at Prashanti Nilayam to showcase the personal belongings of the spiritual guru.


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