Security beefed up in Pattaparthi

Puttaparthi (AP): After the condition of Satya Sai Baba deteriorated, police on Friday stepped up security in Puttaparthi town of Andhra Pradesh where the spiritual leader has been undergoing treatment for the past three weeks.

With reports indicating that several VIPs are expected to arrive in Puttaparthi, bomb squads were pressed into service to screen the area near Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences Super Speciality Hospital where Sai Baba is being treated and Prashanti Nilayam, the official residence of the 86-year old godman.

Earlier Anantapur Superintendent of Police Syed Shahnawaz Qasim said additional police forces were already sent to Puttaparthi to prevent any untoward incident.

District authorities have put on alert about two dozen Tehsildars (revenue officials) to immediately rush to Puttaparthi to take care of protocol arrangements in any eventuality.

Even though a series of high level meetings (that of government officials, doctors and Satya Sai Trust Members) are going on in the hospital premises, the doctors are only releasing information about Sai Baba's health.

Trust members and senior government officials are tight lipped about a successor of the organisation.

Meanwhile police took away spiritual leader Shiva Saibaba of Karnataka, after he tried to force his way inside the hospital premises to meet the Baba.