Devotees flee as Sai Baba temple trustees clash
By Express News Service - HYDERABAD
14th August 2012 07:55 AM
Devotees ran helter-skelter when two groups of functionaries of Shirdi Sai Baba temple at Dilsukhnagar here clashed with each other and nearly came to blows on Monday. As tempers ran high, police had to be called in to restore order.
The unsavoury incident took place when S.Jayaswamy, former chairman of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan Trust, arrived at the temple along with his followers to appear before assistant commissioner of endowments Ramanamurthy who has been appointed as the enquiry officer to probe alleged irregularities in the temple.
Jayaswamy, who accused the incumbent managing committee members of misappropriation of Rs 10 crore of temple money, was prevented from entering the premises by the present committee members and their followers. As the two groups threatened each other and were ready to exchange blows, police intervened and dispersed the groups.
Meanwhile, the scared devotees ran for safety. The enquiry officer returned without conducting the enquiry with the present trustees producing a letter from endowments minister C.Ramachandraiah ordering postponement of the inquiry for six weeks.
Trust general secretary A Narasimha Rao lodged a complaint against Jayaswamy and his followers with the Saroornagar police that they created ruckus at the temple. Jayaswamy, the former chairman, has accused the present trustees of misappropriating Rs 10 crore funds of the temple since 1986.
‘‘The trustees have been cheating the devotees by changing the temple’s name often. The temple was started as Shirdi Bhaktha Mandali in 1984 in a 500 square yard government land. Later, the trustees changed the name four times. For the present, it is named Sri Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan Trust.’’
Jayaswamy also alleged that the trustees were not showing the accounts of donations given by devotees and that the audit report pointed out misappropriation. ‘’Forty-three trustees have colluded and swindled the donations.
An amount of Rs 18 lakh was swindled in the queue complex construction, Rs 1.50 to 2 core in the construction of Dharmasala which is being built as Shirdi at a cost of Rs 30 crore, and there was misappropriation even in the purchase of hundis,’’ he alleged.
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