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Sai Baba sinking, Puttaparthi sealed

india Updated: Apr 22, 2011 00:29 IST
Ashok Das and Salil Mekaad
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As medical bulletins flashed the deteriorating condition of spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba every hour on Thursday, his devotees began flocking to his base, Puttaparthi. The administration imposed prohibitory orders under section 144.

"Sai Baba's condition is really bad. Doctors are making a last-minute effort to save the Baba. Let us pray," said revenue minister N Raghuveera Reddy.

Earlier, Dr AN Safaya, director of the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences and leader of the team of doctors treating Sai Baba since March 28, said the latter's liver was not functioning and he had low blood pressure.

Chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy called a meeting to discuss the situation in

After the meeting, director general of police Aravinda Rao said, "We should not create confusion unnecessarily by mobilising additional forces."

However, official sources said the government was monitoring the situation hourly. Industries minister J Geeta Reddy and principal secretary, finance, MV Subrahmanyam are already in Puttaparthi.

Subrahmanyam's presence has led to speculation that the government may be planning to take over the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, invoking the powers under the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, 1959.

The government, however, denied any such move.