ANGALORE: A man armed with an air pistol was nabbed at
the Whitefield Ashram of Sri Sathya Sai Baba on Thursday. Following
this, commotion prevailed in the Ashram just before the scheduled
morning darshan of Baba.
The intruder had an air pistol and
pellets in his posession. Police said he was planning to hold some
security personnel hostage in order to get darshan of the Baba.
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said Baba was to scheduled to give darshan at the Sai Ramesh Hall in
his Brindavan Ashram. Devotees mumbling prayers were queuing up to
get into the hall when inmates noticed a pistol butt peeping out of
a jacket worn by a youth standing in the queue. The inmates grabbed
the youth as he offered resistance and whisked him away. They
disarmed him and detained him in one of the rooms. The pistol and
pellets were seized.
Several devotees, including women,
panicked and ran helter skelter. Meanwhile, rumours circulated that
the youth had come to kill Baba in the Ashram.
reacted swiftly and led the youth to the Kadugodi police station.
Senior police officers, including DGP V VBhaskar, IGP Central Range
N Achyutha Rao and SP Bangalore District Bhaskar Rao, visited the
Ashram and interrogated the youth. He was led away to to an
undisclosed location for questioning.
The youth was later
identified as Somasundara from Dharmapuri district in Tamil Nadu.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the youth was a
staunch devotee of Baba who wanted to have a personal audience with
In the the past, Somasundara had written several letters
to Baba in Telugu asking for some help to start a business to help
unemployed people in his village. He did not get any
His game plan now was to hold one of the Ashram
security staff hostage at gun point to force Baba to accord him an
interview. It is not possible for people to meet Baba unless they
are called by him personally.
According to the police, the
youth was seen at the Ashram in the last three days. He managed to
take the pistol with him by hiding it in his socks. Later, he moved
it to his jacket.
"His intention was only to get an
interview with Baba, not to cause any harm," said Superitendent of
Police Bhaskar Rao. However, a case has been registered in the
Kadugodi police station against Somasundara.
taken the incident seriously in the wake of the recent reports
alleging that Baba was on the hit-list of the LTTE. The security in
Puttaparthi and Bangalore Ashrams had been intensified following
It may be recalled that four people were shot
dead in the Puttaparthi Ashram while attempting to attack Baba
several years ago.