Continuing their investigations into the seizure of Rs 35.5 lakh unaccounted cash, the police on Monday questioned V, Srinivasan, a powerful member of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust at Puttaparthi.
The police, which had earlier served notice on him to appear before the SP at district headquarter at Anantapur, relaxed the norm to allow him to be interrogated within the Ashram precincts.
The questioning of Srinivasan is key to unraveling the truth about the unaccounted cash as Sekhar, the driver of the car, from which the money was seized earlier told the police that it was on Srinivasan`s advice the money was being transported to Bangalore.
Sekhar, who is currently on bail, told the investigating officials that he was asked to take the car to Yajur Mandir, the residential quarters of Sai Baba and keep the boot open. Afterwards a bagful of cash was loaded into the car and he was asked to drive to Benguluru.
Srinivasan, who arrived from Chennai this morning, had a round of meeting with trust officials before he proceeded to the Sathya Sai Deemed University Building, where policemen were waiting for him. The questioning lasted over six hours, sources said.
The police had on Sunday questioned another Trust member and Sai Baba`s nephew R J Ratnakar. Police sources said that Ratnakar stuck to his earlier stand that the money did not belong to the Sathya Sai Central Trust. He repeated that the money was collected by devotees and it was being transferred to a contractor, who is building the samadhi for Sai Baba at the Sai Kulwant Hall. He further stated that the said devotees will soon file an application in a Hindupur court claiming the money.
Police were also in the process of questioning another person identified as Sadashiv, in connection with the cash.