THE UNRESOLVED, COVERED-UP 1993 MURDERS IN SATHYA SAI BABA'S BEDROOM REVISITED
by Robert Priddy - founder member & office-bearer Oslo Centre 1983, Chairman from 1987 while acting national contact-person of the Sathya Sai Organisation, Norway 1987-2000

The Sathya Sai Baba June 6, 1993 murders issue was never cleared up, but willfully suppressed. This is the main point. To evaluate fairly the key question, one must look at the preponderance of evidence... that is, the overall body of testimonies, documentation, and circumstantial evidence.

Hypotheses as to the exact course of events cannot always be tested (yet!) and naturally they can be in some conflict with one another from different persons' viewpoints. Even the Indian authorities rejected the Puttaparthi Police report on the whole incident, stating that it contained sheer falsifications and copious inaccuracies, and omitted the proper and essential requirements of data collection. One consequence of this hindrance and other stumbling blocks set up by involved parties is that attempts to investigate the details without having any formal report or court verdicts are bound to reach some dead ends and conflicting opinions. Even so, many main facts were proven about the actual events and subsequent cover-up. (UPDATE: In 2012, an eyewitness, Eileen Weed (or 'Divya') was posting a long series of letters she had written from India to her parents in the USA (who were then devotees). These included several letters from Prashanthi Nilayam shortly after the murders. At the time she was living with Sai Baba's sister, Venkamma, and with her observed the events from the South Prashanthi apartment overlooking the temple, while family members who were allowed inside the temple while events were developing visitied their rooms and told them what they knew was happening as the intruders were trapped, bound and killed on the direct order of Sathya Sai Baba. See Sai Baba 1993 murders: eyewitness reveals amazing facts, Sai Baba and brother ordered planned murder of four devotees, 1993 and Sathya Sai Baba massive bribery of residents.

That this is an unresolved case can in no way exonerate those who were involved, nor excuse those who have vested interest in covering up these heinous crimes or who otherwise obfuscated the entire issue. Whether or not Sai Baba also inspires to social work etc. has, of course, no bearing whatever on this issue. No facts about his alleged healings, other powers or 'good teachings' makes the slightest factual, legal or moral difference to the question of the murders or other crimes attributed to him.

The quashing of the case by Government order was a process in which the former Home Minister S.B. Chavan and the authorities of Andhra Pradesh State - being devotees of Sai Baba - were involved, while the final responsibility therefore rests on the former Indian Government of Prime Minister Narasimha Rao. The collected evidence is still kept secret by authorities who are Sai Baba followers and regular visitors of his (i.e. most recently India's current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and the current Home [Interior] Minister, Shivraj Patil, along with several other figures in government). So what can be asserted without any doubt whatever?

SOME OF THE CENTRAL ESTABLISHED FACTS

1) Sathya Sai Baba explained in a public discourse that he was aware in advance of what would happen to his two servitors who were the first killed by the intruders and warned them how to act, but they ignored his warnings.
(see Sathya Sai Baba's Discourse 03/07/1993 - scans of the most revealing part of the discourse are on-line see here otherwise one may see the official website's pdf file  but the pdf file may not open)

2) Sathya Sai Baba was in his rooms when these two were killed whereupon he was warned by an attendant's shouts:-
Indian Express, New Delhi 13-6-1993: "
Union Home Minister S.B. Chavan during his recent visit to Puttaparthi told newsmen that Baba came out from his chamber on hearing some commotion on the ground floor. He scolded the persons creating noise and returned to his room..." (Note: It is established that Sai Baba soon fled his rooms through a rear door, locking it so as to stop the intruders following him, and they were eventually completely trapped in his apartment )

3) He was also present and awake during the stand-off which lasted several hours and ended with many rifle shots from the police as reported by a number of independent foreign and Indian witnesses. Whether one or more of the four trapped intruders in Sai Baba's bedroom were already dead or not is disputed. The coroner's report certified that all four 'Died of shock and haemorrhage' due to Firearm Injuries (http://www.exbaba.com/murders/murders.html). So they were gunned down in Sai Baba's apartment, where they were trapped when Sathya Sai Baba fled and locked the escape route from the outside .

4)
The Puttaparthi police were found to have falsified their report and failed to act correctly in their investigations. The consequent official Indian Central Bureau of Investigation's inquiries were obstructed and the matter was finally quashed from above without any published conclusion, formal charges or court cases. Subsequently, two independent police officers - A.P. Rajan and Lokendar Sarma - who were progressing well in the investigation, were suddenly and arbitrarily posted elsewhere before they could present their findings.

5) The Sathya Sai Central Trust, ashram officials, the Sathya Sai Organisation and Sai Baba himself make efforts to hush up the matter and bury it.
The Hindu 10-6-1993 reported:-
"Several of the investigating officials complained of lack of cooperation from the members of the Satya Sai Trust. When press persons met Mr. Indulal Shah, chief functionary of the Sri Satya Sai World Trust, he said, ‘the matter is purely internal and we do not wish to have any law enforcement agency investigating into it." (Note: This widely publicised newspaper report was never refuted by Indulal Shah. Moreover, his stated aim was eventually achieved.)

6) Since the CBI investigation was truncated and quashed, the entire matter remains unresolved. Besides, the Prashanthi Nilayam ashram is officially recognised by Andhra Pradesh State as a township, in which the undisputed ruler of is Sathya Sai Baba, both legally and in practice. Officials of the ashram and most residents within it fervently believe in the complete authority of Sai Baba over everything that occurs within it, and none are known to have denied this in public. Therefore he must be regarded as a willing accomplice to the events allowed to happen therein on 06/06/1993, including the following cover-up of these events. Further, he actively helped obfuscate the facts (see his statements in his 'Discourse on Guru Poornima', July 1993).

7) The Supreme Court of India was instituted through P.N. Bhagwati - a life-long Sathya Sai Baba devotee and director of his charitable trust. This court destroyed its record of a petition made to it by Hari Sampath (former security guard at Sai Baba's ashram) and presented by Kamini Jaiswal. The removal of the record meant that Embassies - especially the UK Embassy in Delhi - could not get confirmation that the petition had ever been made or a decision handed downt. However, a copy of the court decision document evaded their attention - attested as genuine by a justarius publicus - and a scan of it is shown here The entire issue is treated at some length here.

Despite cover-up of all vital facts about the murders/executions by Sathya Sai Baba (Sathya Sai Baba), his officials, the Puttaparthi police and the Indian Government under Narasimha Rao, and despite many attempts to falsify and confuse the facts by supporters of Sathya Sai Baba, the above major points ARE crystal clear and hence irrefutable. All those who oppose this step show themselves clearly to be supporters of the cold-blooded executions within the so-called "Abode of Supreme Peace" ashram (i.e. 'Prashanthi Nilayam') without any redress whatever for the victims' families or any respect for justice or the rule of law. Such conscienceless people are therefore opposed to the Sai Petition (i.e Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization), which asks only for due and just process - and has been signed by at least 1,200 persons. The facts are more than sufficient in any law-abiding country to require the re-opening of the case, including a rigorous, uncompromising questioning of Sathya Sai Baba.

"DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES"

No one can convince me that Sai Baba was not complicit in the execution and cover-up or that he fully shares the moral and legal guilt for the incident. This is partly because my close friend, the famous Indian journalist V.K. Narasimhan who attended Sai Baba on a daily basis, told me secretly in 1996 many utterly damaging details. These, which obviously made a huge and indelible impression on me, I carefully noted down at the time in my daily diary at Prashanthi Nilayam, which records in some detail what he told me then and which guarantees that my memory is not at fault on what I have stated since then. Narasimhan (VKN) became my closest friend and confidante in the Sai movement, a person who was VERY close to Sai Baba for reasons he on occasion publicly stated he did not fully understand. (Note, however, that the respect in which he was held in public, along with his fame and contacts throughout the Indian elite were extremely useful to Sathya Sai Baba in building up his political power in India. I learned how Narasimhan was pleasantly naive in some ways, but he was also easily flattered by others). Not until some time after his death was I able to publicise the facts without danger to him. He told me how the police were forced into doing the executions by blackmail, in which Sai Baba's younger brother (Janaki ramiah) played a leading role along with other ashram officials. Later on, before a shocked V.K. Narasimhan, Home Minister Chavan congratulated Janaki ramiah on his blackmailing role, to which the latter replied "Dead men tell no tales" and both laughed!

I cannot doubt my friend VKN's confidences to me, and I am willing to swear to this. When discussing at Sai Towers with me in the presence of its owner, R. Padmanabhan, and Chris Parnell (a prominent Sai Organisation leader in Australia), VKN told how he had asked Sai Baba on several occasions about the murders and he said in a loud voice "But his answers were not convincing, not convincing, not convincing!" Sai Baba's Guru Purnima discourse about the episode was wholly unconvincing and devious too. From this discourse one can take the measure of Sai Baba, a devious, blustering, wrathful demoniser, inordinate boaster and actual liar. No protestations of his apologists can hide his outright lies about his personal Sathya Sai Central Trust fund and the impeccability of its board members, several of whom he dismissed within the year after the press revelations about financial mismanagement which accompanied their reporting on the murders incident. These facts are known to many with privileged access to the ashrams etc. I was told the reasons by the upright V.K. Narasimhan who said that Colonel Joga Rao had taken kickbacks from Larsen & Tubro and that Narayanan - then Head of Sai Baba's main ashram - had built himself a palatial house which was far beyond his means. To remain a Sai devotee after all that one would have to read with blinkers on 'between the lies of Sai'!

With his devotees as President, Prime and Home Ministers, Supreme and High Court judges, it is patently evident that, the upper echelon of the Indian governmental and judicial system is as much out of control and corruptly prejudiced on all Sai Baba related issues as it is on the horrendous mass murders of Muslims by Hindus.

My research into this matter has gone further than most others' have, and much further than any devotee or believer in Sai Baba. Though there is not conclusive evidence that the young men were still alive before the police shots, or that the police staged an execution by shooting corpses, this does not alter the fact that the entire matter was wilfully covered up and full scientific criminological investigation was made an impossibility (though forensic evidence was gathered and also was shown to have been tampered with a lot by the Puttaparthi police, as proven by the available case documents). There is a clear social and civil need to re-open this case, despite the money and pressure exerted by the Sai officialdom and by the Sai-devoted authorities not to do so. Certainly, former Home Secretary of Andhra Pradesh, V.P.B. Nair, has told BBC television cameras (in "The Secret Swami," 2004) that he is trying to get the case re-opened because the four intruders were "murdered in cold blood".

SATHYA SAI BABA - LEGALLY INNOCENT, BUT STILL FACTUALLY and MORALLY IMPLICATED

Either Sai Baba was an accomplice to murder or he was not, despite the fact that he has not (yet) been proven guilty in a court of law. The facts show him to be unable to clear himself of his (indirect) involvement with the police killings and further actual (if legally unproven) guilt as an accomplice to the cover-up of vile murders.

The Times of India 10-6-1993:
June. 9: "The Union home minister, Mr. S.B. Chavan, who reached the Baba’s ashram around 6 p.m., immediately called on the godman at Prashanti Nilayam and was closeted with him for lengthy discussion. The home minister also had discussions with the top police brass, including the Andhra Pradesh crime branch DIG, Mr. Ramachandraiah, who is heading the investigation into the Sunday night’s attack..." S.B. Chavan returned several times to confer with Sai Baba personally during the drawn-out period of investigations afterwards.

Indian Express, New Delhi 13-6-1993: "The officers investigating into the alleged attempt on Sri Satya Sai Baba on Sunday night have examined Subbappayya {a boy in his early teens}, an inmate of Prashanti Nilayam complex and a prime witness in the case, according to a highly informed source. There are conflicting versions regarding the opening of the doors of Baba’s personal chambers on the fateful night. Union Home Minister S.B. Chavan during his recent visit to Puttaparthi told newsmen that Baba came out from his chamber on hearing some commotion on the ground floor. He scolded the persons creating noise and returned to his room, bolting the door from inside."

Subbappayya subsequently disappeared and was unavailable to the press or official bodies. What was he doing in Sai Baba's bedroom at night and why was he spirited away and mostly kept incommunicado?

Sai Baba was never questioned by independent investigators, even though he was close by and - on his own statement in his discourse some weeks later - was actually aware IN ADVANCE that the killings would take place! Further, he was present and was warned while the first two of his servitors were killed in the interview room and remained close by throughout the hours of stand-off with the police.

All that remains is to have the case cleared up properly through an unbiased court case. The entire episode reeks of the darkest crimes, as anyone who has carefully studied Basava Premanand's 800+ page book 'Murders in Sai Baba's Bedroom' can read. This book is currently published again, since it was bought up very shortly after it was first released. It is a compendium of documentary raw data, yet without containing any complete analysis of it.


OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE BY THE INDIAN JUDICIARY AND GOVERNMENT

Many (but not all) testimonies concerning sexual molestation and abuse by Sathya Sai Baba were written personal accounts by named persons on the internet. Sworn affidavits have been presented to various US, UK and Australian authorities for their information, though there can be no legal action against Sai Baba in those countries. Very detailed charges were made in a long letter by Hari Sampath to the Indian Criminal Bureau of Investigation and a Writ Petition (backed by sworn affidavits) was taken to the Supreme Court of India (8/5/2001). Though the Supreme Court's raison d'être is to allow redress for ordinary citizens who cannot get a fair hearing in other courts, the judges G.B. Pattanaik and R.C. Lahoti rejected the petition out of hand. Making clear mistakes on which Counsel had to correct them, and repeatedly interrupting and refusing to listen to the two leading Counsel, Kamini Jaiswal and Prashant Kumar who appeared on behalf of the Petition, the judges told them to present the Petition to the Andhra Pradesh High Court. Subsequently, officials expunged nearly all records of the petition, but one copy of the judgement escaped their attention and is certified as a true copy (Click here to see scan). The documentation of this petition is still being held for future use, along with the original 20 affidavits presented to the Indian CBI in 2001. The court judgement stated:

"We are not inclined to entertain this petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India. It is accordingly dismissed. The petitioner may approach the appropriate forum." Signed, Court Masters: J.S. Rawat & Suneet Bala Sharma.

The Supreme Court was controlled by Sai devotees, including Chief Justice A.S. Anand - and the court itself was originally instituted largely by High Chief Justice P.N. Bhagwati, currently one of Sai Baba's Central Trust officials(!) - and so it was referred to the High Court of Andhra Pradesh. This court was and is controlled by Sai Baba's devotee cronies and the State Governor once even acted as Sathya Sai Baba's chauffeur! The main reason for going to the Supreme Court in the first place was the known prejudice of the Andrha Pradesh High Court on Sai Baba issues. When Counsel tried to argue that they had a right to present their case outside Sai Baba's state, the judges summarily silenced them, further demonstrating a thoroughly prejudiced reaction with their ad hoc comments and incivility.

Justice can hardly be expected under the current Indian regime, where the Indian Home Minister (who is India's top legal power) is a foot-kissing devotee, and where the current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appears together with Sathya Sai Baba in the ashram and gives positive talks in his presence.

SAI DEVOTEES MAINTAIN DEATHLY SILENCE ON THE UNRESOLVED MURDERS

The Sathya Sai Organisation and practically every Sai devotee besides are completely mute about these events, and one need hardly speculate why! It shows that there are no known cogent reasons to reject the overwhelming suspicion which has caused so many persons to stand forth and sign the petition to have Sai Baba and his minions legally investigated. Few arguments have ever surfaced to defend Sai Baba, the prime agenda of his main supporters being to seal the cover-up and try to avert further official investigation and defy justice. They are, however, unable to control all blind believers in Sai Baba who choose to attack exposé activists on bulletin boards, guestbooks, by e-mail etc.

NO ONE CAN EVER ERASE THE SUPPRESSED FACTS

The fact remains: Sai Baba, his brother Janakiramiah, and the Sathya Sai Central Trust and ashram officials have actively hindered due investigation of the murders. Sai Baba has always been claimed by virtually all who work or live in his ashrams to have complete care and concern for every detail and arrangement therein; he exercises complete control and official authority. Despite his self-styled 'omniscience' and 'omnipotence,' his passive complicity (at the least) is evident from how he hid in the garage to which he had fled, where he was visited by Joga Rao, his brother Janaki ramiah and others during the stand-off with the four intruders, who were carrying only knives. Trapped in Sai Baba's bedroom for hours, they were finally gunned down by police with dozens of rifle bullets.

It is quite simple to understand, even for anyone whose mind is not weighed down by hyper-dependency on a load of 'mere beliefs' concerning deities and avataric rewards of liberation in a hereafter etc. , that Sai Baba's behaviour is highly suspect in this matter. What more evidence could one possibly need of his complicity? While preaching "Help ever, hurt never", Sai Baba's known actions show him as a major hypocrite.

That the Indian system of justice suffers from major corruption which allows prominent and powerful people to get away with murder can be seen clearly from the scandalous acquittal of murder in Delhi of Manu Sharma, the son of a Harayana Congress Party leader, Sharma having shot a bartender in full view of many witnesses! See also the BBC's reports.

See also MAIN ARTICLE ON THE 1993 MURDERS IN SAI BABA'S BEDROOM
and MORE ON THE MURDERS
and DIVERSE INDIAN NEWSPAPERS' COVERAGE OF THE MURDERS INCIDENT

Note: one aggrieved guru-worshipper, Gerald Joe Moreno, tries hard with every trick in the book from ad hominem arguments, peripheral nit-picking, to personal slurs and defamation to obfuscate the Sai Baba murders and sex abuse issues. He could not handle the facts as repeated above, and has been unable to disprove on any documented or properly reasoned basis anything I have written about it. His boast is that he took just two hours to trump up his skimpy and fact-free 'rebuttal' aiming to whitewash Sai Baba of all guilt! But it takes at least 10 hours to speed-read Basava Premanand's 800-page plus book "Murders in Sai Baba's Bedroom", even without stopping to analyse anything. This querulous individual had never seen this out-0f-print volume, for he got the title wrong and did not know photos of the bloody victims were first published in it.
That person is supported in everything by another witless person claiming to be a Sai devotee, Lisa de Witt, but acting in every way unlike it by defaming in the vilest manner critics of Sathya Sai Baba (including yours truly) on the Internet in filthy language and with totally trumped up libels. She is unable to understand the simple fact that a person can carry out criminal acts but have the means to escape the legal consequences, as applies with the highest likelihood to Sathya Sai Baba.

Return to menu index