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Andhra govt to probe Sai Baba trust's finances

CNN-IBN
Jun 23, 2011 at 03:50pm IST

Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradeh government will question the Sathya Sai Central Trust at Puttaparthi and demand a report on all financial matters after Rs 35 lakh were found in a car belonging to the trust on the state's border with Karnataka.

The government has also demanded an explanation from the trust on whether any financial irregularities took place following a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy on Wednesday evening.

"The Chief Minister called for a high-level meeting yesterday evening along with the Chief Secretary and Inspector General Intelligence to discuss the matter. We all know the trust has been doing great work but in light of the recent developments, since the government cannot remain a mute spectator, we have asked the trust to submit a factual report to the government on the happening in the trust and the financial matters. We just want to coordinate and we have no other interest. Let the report come and then we can see what action is to be taken," said Ponnala Lakshmaiah, Andhra Minister for Information Technology & Communications and Endowments.

An Andhra Pradesh court had on June 22 issued legal notices to two key members of the Sathya Sai Central Trust in connection with seizure of huge cash on June 18 that was allegedly being diverted from Prasanthi Nilayam, the abode of late Sathya Sai Baba.

The members who got legal notices are Ratnakar Raju who is the grand nephew of Sai Baba and Venu Srinivasan who is a member of the Sathya Sai Central Trust.

Earlier, Sathya Sai Baba's grand-niece Chetana Raju alleged that she faced a life threat from some trust members.

The 85-year-old Sathya Sai Baba, one of India's most influential spiritual leaders, breathed his last at a hospital funded by his organisation in Puttaparthi on April 24.

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