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Thursday September 1, 12:45 PM

German woman alleges rape in Puttaparthi

By Indo Asian News Service

Hyderabad, Sep 1 (IANS) A German devotee of spiritual guru Sathya Sai Baba has alleged that she was drugged and raped by two people in her rented flat in Andhra Pradesh's Puttaparthi town.

Police in the globally famous headquarters of the guru in Anantapur district, 400 km from here, Tuesday registered a case on the basis of her letter to the police chief and sent her for medical examination.

However, some top police officials said she appeared to be mentally disturbed.

Doctors at the Anantapur General Hospital Wednesday said she would be under observation for 48 hours, during which they would also conduct the necessary medical tests on her to find out if there was any truth in the charges.

In her complaint faxed to Director General of Police Swaranjit Sen, the German national alleged that she was drugged and repeatedly raped at Sai Nilayam apartments by the watchman and the manager of the apartment.

She said she arrived at Puttaparthi on July 4 and had been staying there since then, except for two breaks - when she went to Chennai.

She also stated that she was forced to complain to the chief as the local police had failed to take her complaint seriously.

However, a senior police official in the town said the woman was a drug addict and mentally unsound. 'It is hard to believe her statements. We have registered a case and the truth will come out after the probe.'

This is not the first time a foreign devotee has complained of being raped in Puttaparthi and police have dismissed the devotee as being mentally disturbed.

A few months ago, an Italian woman had alleged that locals had raped her in the town. Police responded by refusing to register a case and branding her mentally disturbed.

Hundreds of devotees including many from abroad, throng Puttaparthi to seek the blessings of Sai Baba, who claims to be a reincarnation of a Hindu god.

Sai Baba, who claims to have performed miracles like producing gold out of thin air, stopped performing miracles nearly 15 years ago when rationalists accused him of cheating people and disputed his claims of performing miracles.

His devotees include several heads of state and government, members of royal families and top politicians and bureaucrats of the country.

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