Murders in Prashanti Nilayam before the 06-06-1993 assasinations


Indian Skeptic August 1993, vol. 6 no. 4, pages 25-37. 

Date: 09-04-03

Document date: August 1993

Introduction by editors of

Mr B. Premanand wrote a letter to Shri M.P. Veerendra Kumar, Chairman & Managing Director, Kozhikode on 7.8.1983. He copied this letter in the August 1993 issue of Indian Skeptic, and it reads as follows (the words of Mr. Premanand are in Italic):

“Dear Friend

(…) I am writing this letter so that you may know what is happening in the education institutions run by Satya Sai Baba in the name of Spiritual education.

A lady teacher was brave enough to publish a printed notice on 6.3.1980 against the management about the pay, and the pervert sex going on in the institution at Puramala near Quilandy. I had published the notice in the booklet “Kerala Satya Sai Trustinde Duswadheenam” on page 35 to 39. You know I sent this booklet to you immediately it was printed in September 1981 along with my letter dated 28.9.1981 and copies to 1) Mr. V.P. Ramachandran, Editor, Mathrubhumi, 2) Mr. Chandran P.V., Printer and Publisher, Mathrubhumi, 3) Mr. P. Chandu Nayar, President Prasanthividvan Mahasabha, Kozhikode whose false letter published in Mathrubhumi of 14.8.1979 was the cause of my letters to you, 4) Dr. P.B. Menon, Convenor, Satya Sai Trust Kerala who kept silent over my press conference and made Mr. P. Chandu Nayar a scapegoat to publish falsehood in Mathrubhumi and 5) Justice V. Balakrishna Eradi, deligated member of the Central Satya Sai Trust as member of the Kerala Trust. You all received the letters on the following days: yourself on 29.9.1981, Mr. P.V. Ramachandranl on 1.10.1981, Mr. P.V. Chandran on 30.9.1981, Mr. P. Chandu Nayar on 3.10.1981, Dr. P.B. Menon on 29.9.1981 on 30.9.1981 and Justice V. Balakrishna Eradi on 30.9.1981. 

I made enquiries about Mr. P. Chandu Naya who falsely accused me through Mathrubhumi Daily on 14.8.1979. I was surprised to know that he was in the police department at Cochin and was forced to leave the services for some activities at Malabar Hotel, Cochin and it was because of the influence of Satya Sai Baba he escaped prosecution along with Mr. N.P. Naik a Customs Clearing Agent and Mr. Iyer a magistrate. As the I.G. of police Trivandrum refused to give me information on Mr. P. Chandu Nayar and I was advised by him to write to Mr P. Chandu Nayar himself, I wrote a letter to Mr. P. Chandu Nayar to know if the incident was true on 15.12.1979 received by him on 3.1.1980. 

His remaining so silent over the letter, points to the Truth behind it. It was this Mr. P. Chandu Nayar’s letter that Mathrubhumi Daily published on 14.8.1979. Later I was informed by the police department personally that information on police personnel cannot be divulged to public except on written orders. This is really a sad state of affairs as when photographs of the criminals are exhibited in the police head-quarters, the public also ought to have been warned about the police officers about their activities so that the general public are not exploited by them. You know hundreds of women, unmarried girls, widows, married women in search of peace and happiness, attend the meeting of the Prasanthi Vidwan Mahasbha and what cannot happen there with persons like Mr. P. Chandu Nayar? If the information I got on Mr P. Chandu Nayar is wrong I would request him to write to me by giving me full detail s of the complaint filed against him by the two anglo Indian girls from Calcutta who were staying in Malabar Hotel at that time. 

I am coming to the purpose of writing this letter to you. I am so much upset by this news. I have the records of more than a hundred persons destroyed by the Satya Sai Baba gang beginning with one Mr. Venkatamuni of Madres who was done away at Madurai in an air conditioned room and then after getting death certificates from doctors taken to Madras by Satya Sai Baba in his own car and cremated without giving any information to the police and thus hushing up the matter. Afterwards the doctors who gave the death certificates also succumbed to death. In these deaths the mode of operation is in five ways:

1.                  Death by car accidents.

2.                  Death by Heart failure.

3.                  Death by poisoning.

4.                  Death by hanging.

5.                  Death by drowning. 

In the third para of this letter I have informed you about the notice distributed by the lady teacher of the Satya Sai Vidya Peeth at Puramala near Quilandy. A copy of that notice was sent to me by the husband of the lady teacher. Then itself I had replied him that he being alone he will be harassed by the Satya Sai Baba Trust who have high influence in Government, Police and Judiciary and so he may loose his job also, thus to strangulate him economically and so he should be careful. The press, especially Mathrubhumi who say that they stand for Truth ought to have enquired into the matter published in the notice by meeting the teachers who have been dismissed every year and also meet the parents of the students who have stopped sending their wards to this school and found out the Truth and published about such truth. Instead you know what you are doing, you are publishing the letter of Mr. P. Chandu Nayar and the divinity of Satya Sai Baba the self proclaimed god of all the gods. The copy of my letter to you dated 28.9.1981 was posted to five others as mentioned in para 3 of this letter. You also know that I have filed a complaint with the Press Council of India, because your editor Mr. V.P. Ramachandran didnot publish my reply to the letter of Mr. P. Chandu Nayar which was totally false even if you take into consideration or the news published by you earlier beginning from 1970. 

Because the Press Council had accepted my complaint, I thought that witnesses may be necessary and I wrote a letter to Mr. Chandrachoodan who was the husband of the teacher who was dismissed for the notice. The letter came back with the inscription “EXPIRED”. So I again wrote to his wife and I was shocked to know that she also expired. When I enquired I found that the whole family, Mr. & Mrs. Chandrachoodan and their 4 year child died of poisoning at Palani on 30.10.1981 just one month from the date of receipt of my letter of 28.9.1981 by Justice V. Balakrishna Eradi, Dr. P.B. Menon and P. Chandu Nayar. I am informed that the cause for death was unknown. From the investigations I have conducted about the hundreds of such deaths who once were with Satya Sai Baba, I have to doubt that this is also a murder as they were in the know of what was happening in the school. The police have simply closed the case as suicide by poison. After coming to know of this death I searched the old copies of the newspapers and found that this death news was published by Mathrubhumi and Malayala Manorama on 4.11.1981. Luckily I had purchased some copies of this days newspapers as the news of gifting 13 acres of our land in Shrishaila to Keltron so that it would help about 400 families to earn their livelihood by sweat. 

You know about Rev. Jim Jones who spent huge sums to bring to his fold the newspapers who published against him. Even the American Government gave Jim Jones awards for his humanitarian work! But it was the braveness of a few journalists and a councellor who could not be purchased by money or any other bait who exposed him at the risk of their life. Whole bunch of the group were shot by the Jim Jones gang but because in their dare devil fight three could survive the whole gang committed suicide as they could not face the people and the world! 

What is happening here about Satya Sai Baba is not different. The corrupt people in the government and outside are helped to come out of the charges against them and in their turn they become the inner circle members of the Satya Sai Baba and afterwards blackmailed for life. If some of them try to struggle out from the octopus paws of this god they are done with. In the beginning he had tried to play with our life also but because of the vast publicity we got we are still living. I also understand that at the last years meeting of the Satya Sai Baba inner circle members I was the main point for discussion as to why I am left shot free. I am now starting my tour all over India to demonstrate all the miracles of Satya Sai Baba and other godmen and expose them and talk on “Scientific Temper”. I know it is at the risk of my life. But death is imminent to ever one, even if you believe or not in gods, godmen or miracles and so I march on… 

By the time you receive this letter hundreds and thousands of copies of his letter will have reached my friends and well wishers and I want to know what you have to say about the matter and I hope to receive your letter and so also from the under mentioned persons if there is even a speck of untruth in this pointing that to me. Please let me know what you are going to do in this. 

Yours sincerely,

B. Premanand.


Copy to:

1.      Mr. P.V. Ramachandran, Editor, Mathrubhumi, Kozhikode 673 001

2.      Mr. P. Chandu Nayar, 3/56 Cannanore road, Calicut 673 011

3.      Dr. P.B. Menon, Convenor, Sri Satya Sai Trust, Kerala, Geetha Eye Hospital, Chalapuram, Kozhikode 673 002

4.      Mr. Justice V. Balakrishna Eradi, Supreme Court of India, New Delhi

5.      Editor, Sanathana Sarathi, Prasanthinilayam Post

6.      Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Prasanthinilayam Post.


At that time I had come across only five ways of murders at the ashrams and educational institutions of the godman and now we have to add two more, i.e. murder by burning and murder by police shooting. The murder by burning after murder, was published in Indian Skeptic first issue of may 1988, and though the students of the Junior college agitated the case was hushed up by the police as suicide by burning. 

The first murder I came across was the case of a business man found hanging in the ashram premises. Then another hanging by a girl at the Satya Sai Women’s College at Anantapur and the then principal of the college Mrs. Damayanti Doongaji resigned from the institution.

Only two newspapers had published about the homosexual activity of the Baba. The following letters from Hariram Jayaram from Malaysia dated 14.3.1981 being from an advocate of repute who earlier wanted to take legal action against V. Veeramanai, Secretary, Dravida Kazhakam, should be an eye opener to the parents who send their wards to the Baba’s educational institutions. 

Page 30 shows a copied letter from Ram Rais & Yap, advocates and solicitors, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, dated 14th March 1981: 


“Dear Mr. B. Premanand 

Your name has been given to me by Mr. V.A. Menon, the editor of Dr. Kovoor’s books. 

I understand that you have written tow books, namely, “Lure of Miracles” and “Divine Octopus”. I am enclosing herewith the UAB Bank Draft No. 16/043/406 for Rs.50/-. Please despatch these books by Airmail to me. If the sum I have remitted is not sufficient, kindly let me know the sum due from me and I will make payment of the same promptly. 

Mr. V.A. Menon has informed that you know Sathya Sai Baba very closely. 

I was until recently an ardent follower of Sathya Sai Baba. To my surprise and that of the surprise of his many devotees in Malaysia, Sathya Sai Baba carried out homosexual activities on the Malaysian students studying in his Colleges. When I came to know of the same, I dropped out from the Sai movement.  

Many people in this Country are looking for materials on Sathya Sai Baba to read and circulate. Your two books will be of great help to me. I already have in possession, Dr. Kovoor’s books and the “Lord of the Air” by Tal Brooke. If you have any other materials in the form of newspaper cuttings please let me have them or send the photostat copies of the same to me. The materials can be in English, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu or Kannada. 

All expenses incurred by you in obtaining the materials will be paid for by me. 

Kindly let me hear from you. 

Yours faithfully,



When a lady teacher published about the dark side of the Baba’s educational institution in Kerala, she was dismissed and later newspapers published that she committed suicide along with her husband and child. When I came to know about this I found some of the Baba’s inner circle members were also camping at Palani and the way in which the police conducted the post mortem and inquiries suppressing the reports even to the family members brings suspicion. What is needed is an inquiry into the educational institutions of the Baba by persons who are not connected with him in any manner and who could not be purchased. Now even those who are out of grace are afraid to talk anything against him and this is what one of the earlier personal aide of the Baba M. Krishna had to say bout his experiences which is published in the book Modern Miracles

Page 165: Then some years later, Krishna fell into disgrace. And when Baba sent him out, the reason was that Swami accused him of misbehaving with an old woman of 60, a servant in the temple, in the mandir. And do you believe this story? Certainly don’t. Krishna is one of the very few people Baba has been very close to. At one time he was even carried with Baba in the palanquin during processions. “What Arjuna was to Krishna, Krishna is to me,” Baba used to say. I do not think anyone has been so close to Swami after him. Perhaps Raja Reddy later on, but Krishna was the last person with whom that close youth friendship was there. 

(… Etc.)


INDIAN EXPRESS (Coimbatoire Ed.) 9.6.1993

He (Andrah Pradesh Home Minister Mysoore Reddy) also denied knowledge of the reported murder of a Swedish woman in the ashram sometime back and the pursuit of Baba’s car by some persons when he was proceeding from Hyderabad to Suryapet a decade ago. “You write all sorts of gossip and want me to comment on it. I am a responsible man”, the angry Home Minister said.

The Minister had no answer when asked whether newspapers were “irresponsible”. He wondered why the press was making such a fuss about the Sai Baba incident as it was a “case like any other.” As the scribes sought more information, the home minister abruptly declared that the press conference was “over”. 



An Australian lady, who was also a member of the Trust (belonging to the faction of the ousted secretary of the trust) was murdered in her room in Prasanthi Nilayam seven months ago but the entire incident was hushed up.

While over 80% of the sum is spent in maintenance of the Ashram’s educational institutions and the Super Speciality Hospital at Puttaparthi, the left over amounting to Rs. 25 crores, goes to the trustees and key aides of the godman.


INDIAN EXPRESS Vizianagaram Ed. 18.6.1993

One of Baba’s relative is believed to have raised crores of rupees for a real estate project, from unsuspecting devotees, by using Baba’s name. In order to prevent the scandal from blowing up, the old-timers got advertisements inserted in local papers, disassociating the Sai Organisations from the housing project. Ever since the faction led by the relative is believed to have gone on an offensive.



They (police officers) talk of “murky happenings” in the ashram over the last few years. In this context , the revelation made by a doctor of the nearby government civil hospital is startling. The doctor said a number of unidentified dead bodies particularly those of women, were brought to the hospital from Prashanti Nilayam by the police in the past. Post mortem on the bodies mostly revealed death due to suspicious circumstances and signs of rape, he said.


SUNDAY – 20-26 June 1993:

Gossip had it that several boy students at the educational institutions run by the Baba had committed suicides after being sexually abused. But the reports were not shored up by any evidence, and the ashram authorities soon succeeded in suppressing them.



THE MAFIA SET-UP: Prabhu and Ravindranath charge that the Satya Sai Seva Organisation, and the Prashanti Development Committee and the trust are led by people who packed he ashram with their henchmen. Devotees who oppose them are sent out, they allege.

Some of the trust members can be charged with rape, murder and pilfering of funds. Both the fugitives estimate the trust funds to be Rs.500 crore in cash alone. A trust member’s son-in-law runs a hotel at Puttaparthy where various nefarious activities are allegedly conducted.

A Congress leader in Bombay takes care of immovable properties offered to Sai Baba from abroad. All such properties in the country or abroad are registered in the name of individual trustees or their men At Guindy, in Madras, one of them have built a factory on such property. In Bangalore, 10 acres prime land near Whitefield was used for constructing flats for NRIs, the two allege.

CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES: Local thugs are engaged to murder marked foreign devotees, the victims faces are burnt beyond recognition and their bodies are disposed of in the nearby hills, they allege.

Prashanti, a doctor, was recently sacked after she lodged a complaint that another doctor, close to a trust member, tried to rape here. The trust instead charged her with having illicit relations with a van cleaner.

The body of a murdered woman, a foreigner, was also found in the ashram. Following this, Baba asked the devotees not to stay in Prasanti Nilayam during his absence. Another foreign woman lodged a complaint against an important trust member alleging a molestation attempt. Two drivers who knew too much about the goings-on were sacked. And scores of ardent devotees were thrown out of the ashram, Prabhu and Ravindranath alleged.

In spite of Baba’s no to site near the ashram which the trust wanted to acquire, the owner of the shop situated on the plot was threatened. The Gopuram gate was closed, as a result of which he began losing business. Moreover devotees were told not to go to his shop and violators of this unwritten law were punished, they say.

They say Baba won’t touch a single paisa of lakhs of donations paid to him at the ashram every day. But the trust members ask donors to give travellers cheques only which are easy to embezzle, they claim. 


DECCAN HERALD – 18.7.1993

Residents of Puttaparthi will tell you that it is now a “public secret” that there were two groups among those who run the day-to-day affairs at Prasanthi Nilayam. One of the factions represents the interests of a very close relative of Sai Baba and the other is on the side of another band of individuals holding sway over the ashram.

Both factions however comprise people drawn from various walks of life including former and present bureaucrats, retired defence officers and top businessmen. An insider informed this corespondent that these people cared more for the patronage of powerful politicians than the blessings of Baba.

The prime concern of these rival groups, according to the insider, is to retain a hold on the massive assets of Prashanthi Nilayam, the value of which runs into thousands of crores of rupees.

Ironically, these groups are responsible for raising the stink even as Baba continues on his life’s mission of spreading the “fragrance of love” for humanity.

Over the years, the shady goings-on in the ashram have surfaced several times, but they have remained a secret as the police were rarely allowed to intervene even if they smelled something foul.

The local people have any number of stories relating to unnatural deaths from the ashram that often go uninvestigated. The Chitravathi river that passes through Puttaparthi, they say, has carried along with it many unidentified floating bodies. 

There are much more allegations coming in the press which we shall bring before our readers on a future date.

B. Premanand