The Times of India reported suicides by Sathya Sai Baba devotees which followed on their being falsely let to believe what could not be.
By Our Staff Reporter
BANGALORE, APRIL 20. Two members of a family from Chennai, said to be devotees of Sri Satya Sai Baba, reportedly committed suicide in a City hotel as they were unable to get his "darshan."
The dead were identified as Seethamal (58) and her daughter Usharani (35). Usharani's son, Srikrishna (17), who attempted to commit suicide, is in a serious condition in Victoria Hospital here, according to the police.
The Assistant Commissioner of Police (Chikpet), Mr. G. A. Bava, said the police found a suicide note in Tamil in which the three persons gave the reason for their action.
According to the police, the three came to Bangalore on April 17 for a "darshan" of Sri Satya Sai Baba at Whitefield. On reportedly failing to get a "darshan" they consumed an excess dose of sleeping pills in a bid to end their life.
The incident came to light on Tuesday afternoon when the room boys noticed blood from one of the rooms. They informed the police who broke open the doors to find the decomposed body of Seethamal. Usharani and Srikrishna were alive. The police made arrangements to shift them to Victoria Hospital but Usharani died en route. Police suspect the three to have consumed sleeping pills on Monday.
Police found more than 50 strips of tablets and empty beer bottles in the room and suspect that the pills were consumed after mixing them with beer. Usharani, who was a member of an institution run by Satya Sai Baba's Ashram, possessed an identity card issued by the institutions. The dead left behind Rs. 2,000 for distribution among the poor.
The address of the victims was given as No.9, Vigneshwaranagar, I Main Road, Vadapalani, Chennai-28. In the suicide note, they said that information of their death was to be given on telephone 4844417, which is said to be that of one Mr. Rajeshwar. Upparpet police have registered a case.
Ramesh aged 42 an Industrialist in Tiruchirappally was the owner of RMH Corporation at Main Guard Gate. He and his wife Umamaheshwari (38) had 2 children, the first a daughter Sri Devi aged 15, and the 2nd a son named Sathya aged 12 named after Sathya Sai Baba. A Multimillionaire, Ramesh believed that his prosperity and affluence was because of the Blessings of the Baba. So a good portion of his wealth was gifted to the Baba and his whole family was dedicated to the service of Sathya Sai Baba.
His happiness suffered a jolt when the Doctors diagnosed that his daughter had Brain Tumor. She was rushed immediately to Puttaparthi and got her admitted in the Baba's Super Specialty Hospital. Ramesh's wife, uncle, aunt and a brother stayed at Puttaparthi to take care of Sri Devi. He had full faith in Sai Baba and believed that the Baba would cure her.
On Wednesday 2-12-1998 night Ramesh was informed that the state of his daughter was precarious. So he along with his son rushed to Puttaparthi only to know that his daughter Sri Devi succumbed to the Tumor and had died. His faith in the Baba shattered when he found that his assurance to his devotees "Why fear when I am here" was fraudulent and with his daughter's body on his lap he broke into painful mourning.
Later he took his daughter's body to his room in a Hotel near the Air Port informing the management that he wanted her to be buried in the Chitravathi River bank.
That they could not save the life of Sri Devi in spite of Sai Baba's grace and the wealth lead them to mental agony.
Next day 4th December when the hotel management found that the door of the room rented to Ramesh was not opened, they became suspicious and broke open the door. They were shocked to see Ramesh and eight other members lying on the floor unconscious with froth from their mouth. Near them was the body of Sri Devi. Two of them were struggling for life. The hotel staff rushed them to the hospital to save their life. One of them died in the early morning and the other in the afternoon. They were Ramesh, his wife Umamaheshwari, their son Sathya, father Subbaramani, mother Sri Lakshmi, daughter Latha, sons Rajaraman and Sekar.
When the Hotel staff phoned to the police, they came to the Hotel for investigation. The police came to the conclusion that the whole family committed suicide because of Sri Devi's death. Ramesh people in Trichy were informed by the police of the suicide. Ramesh's elder brother Srinivasan, his mother and other relations rushed to Puttaparthi the same night. The police, found a letter alleged to have written by Ramesh. The letter said:
"God has forsaken us. I had great affection and love for my daughter. So we are going to the place where she has gone. No one is responsible for our death. I myself have influenced all the members to commit suicide to become one with Sai Baba. We are offering ourselves at his feet. All our properties has to be transferred to the Sathya Sai Trust. The Shraddha ceremony should be done by my friend Ramakrishnan." One person Sankar survived.
(Times of India 20.09.1996)
He came looking for peace in India but chose to die
BANGALORE: In a bizarre incident shrouded in mystery, a South Africa-born British national, A.G. Richardson, jumped to his death from the eighth floor of the State Bank of Mysore building on Kempe Gowda Road on Thursday afternoon.
Deputy Commissioner of police (West) Praveen Sood told The Times of India that Richardson (33) went up the SBM building, shattered the eighth-floor window, and leapt out in full view of horrified public and bank staff, 85 feet below, around 3.25 p.m. He died instantly.
The police found his foot mark on the sofa and table next to the window in the lounge of the eighth floor, which houses the office of the managing director and chief general manager of the bank, and the shares department. Though public entry to this floor is not restricted, few people go there on a normal working day apart from the staff, SBM security officers said.
The foreigner left a note in which he described, though incoherently, about his misery that drove him to suicide. "I was confused, I came to India in search of peace, but could not find it," he has said. He apparently visited the Sai Ashram earlier and had seen Sai Baba, as it was mentioned in his suicide note. But the police have not confirmed whether it refers to the one in Whitefield here in Bangalore or the one in Puttaparthi.
Mr. Sood said the letter was barely legible, but stated that he was in deep depression. The police have contacted the British High Commission to trace Richardson's kin and send the body back to England.
Preliminary investigations have revealed that Richardson arrived in Bangalore by train on Thursday morning and hired a taxi and went round the city. He arrived in Mumbai from Durban on September 9, Mr. Sood added. Richardson asked the driver to stop at a hotel for sometime, but later decided to continue. When he reached the Mysore Bank Circle, he got out of the taxi and threw into the air all the money he had by encashing his Thomas Cook travellers' cheques in the morning and hurried into the SBM premises. He signed the visitors register and ran up the stairs to the eighth floor from where he jumped.
The police suspect that Richardson must have had a deathwish since he came to Bangalore and the purpose of his tour round the city was to find a high-rise building from he could jump.
Sai Baba’s general claim to complete divine powers and doing so publicly for several decades has resulted in many people believing such powers and in several instances losing their lives even, as a result of disappointments of various natures.
Apart from a few such incidents reported, there are thousands of unreported incidents over the last 40 years, where there had been suspicious deaths in Sai Baba’s ashrams in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, and Whitefield, Karnataka.
Even after such occurrences, and Supreme court verdicts clearly outlining and restating the concerned sections of the law Sec 415 IPC (Inducement), and Sec 420 IPC (cheating), the Andhra Pradesh State police has done nothing at all to investigate Sai Baba. The entire government machinery of Andhra Pradesh is influenced by Sai Baba, with the Director General of Police and the Chief Minister too being Sai Baba followers.
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