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.
How lamentable it is when the police - the fellows who are supposed to provide help and succour - dismiss the tragedy and trauma of rape with a wave of the hand and claims of mental derangement! You can't really expect such easy diagnoses from people who are clearly untrained in medical issues and unqualified in psychopathology to walk around branding people as having a few sandwiches short of a picnic.
Then you have to consider that this is not an isolated incident if an earlier report suggests an Italian woman was raped. How shocking that police would refuse to even register the case! You'd think that there's not much to do by way of paperwork in the "Kingdom of God", where the highlight of the day is being burned alive in the hot sun waiting in the darshan lines, but this is not an issue of someone stealing someone else's luggage or sandals. These women (who knows how many more there may be?) will have to be forced to come to terms with an event that should never have happened to them. As if the violation of body and soul was not bad enough, they have to suffer the indignity of being branded a loony.
How long do we have to wait before people wake up and realise that the Puttaparthi police are a banana bunch of buffoons? A documented fact about the 1993 murder case is how all the eyewitness statements of the police officers at the scene clearly contradict each other. The Police Chief himself was reportedly drunk at the time. It wouldn't surprised me at all if they were exposed as the ashram's paid goons.
And it's not just women who are under attack, men are too! When Jens Sethi was sexually molested by Sai Baba, he was harassed by the local police on a return trip to pick up his luggage! Although he had in his possession two printed-off pages from an Internet site that documented another sexual molestation by Sai Baba, is this any reason to confiscate his passport and run him out of town? It's no wonder that he lodged a complaint with the public prosecutor's office when he returned to his hometown of Munich, Germany.
One thing is clear: the police in Sai Baba's backyard are no better than zombie automatons who act on orders that come from "higher up", quite literally. You can forget about getting justice if anything happens to you. Woe betide you if a 'genuine' crime happens to you, least of all being sexually molested by the Supreme Pervlord, His Holiness Sai Baba himself!
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