01 May 2017
Bhubaneswar/Kendrapara: The Supreme Court on Monday granted bail to self-styled godman Sarathi Baba, who was arrested on August 8 2015 for cheating and other charges. The arrest came days after television channels showed him staying at a Hyderabad hotel with a young medico woman, who allegedly posed as his wife.
The apex court has reportedly granted him bail in the alleged 'misconduct' towards the medico girl.
Earlier, in October last year, the Orissa High Court had rejected the bail plea of Sarathi, who has been lodged in the Choudwar Circle jail since August 8, 2015, in the molestation case of the medical student.
Protests demanding Sarathi’s arrest had rocked Kendrapara town then with people involved in pitched battles with police and resulted in the immediate transfer and later suspension of the then SP, Satish Gajbhiye.
The 48-year-old self-styled godman had millions of followers across Odisha and outside. His sermons at his Barimula ashram used to draw huge congregation.
Notably, Sarathi Baba’s real name is Santosh Kumar Raula. He is said to be a Class 9 dropout and allegedly resorted to the practice of black magic.
It is also alleged that he disappeared for 7 years in 1985 only to re-surface as Saarthi Baba and started to conduct sermons and perform miracles, which made his followers grow in huge numbers.
After the news of bail granted to him broke in, agitated locals on the day burnt effigy of the self-styled godman in front of his controversial Barimula ashram.