So that people involved with Sathya Sai Baba issues might not forget the horrendous murders in his bedroom in 1993 and their cover-up by the Government of India, the graphic evidence is circulated once again. These unsolved and covered-up murders – where Sathya Sai Baba was present but was never even questioned by police – will haunt Indian authorities for decades to come, and very rightly so. No form of redress – let alone anything approaching justice – was ever allowed for any of the bereaved – or for those affected by Sathya Sai Baba’s staff purges of ashramites whose lives had been dedicated to service under the figurehead of Sathya Sai Baba. Factual analysis of these photos by Basava Premanand:-
Pic. 12 to 15 are the photographs of Suresh Shatharam Prabhu, one of the four alleged assailants.
What the FIR states about the shooting dead the four assailants is that at about 11:30pm four assailants armed with daggers suddenly opened doors (of Baba’s bed room) pounced on police, attacked and caused injuries to three with a view to kill. As police could not over power them, in self defense, 5 police opened fire killing all the four assailants in the mandir. According to post mortem report all the four assailants were shot dead point blank at less than 6 inches distance. If the assailants had rushed out of the room, they ought to have been shot outside and not inside. The position of their bodies prove that all were shot inside the rooms and not from outside.
Pic. 12 shows Suresh Shantharam Prabhu with his head on the door step. In the 13th photograph taken from his back, his legs are in the middle of the room and there is a pink coloured bath towel on his right side. At his back on the left is a fallen teapoy. In the 12th and 13th photographs the position of the legs of the teapoy is different. Moreover if the teapoy was really mere it would not have been possible to open the door. If the assailant had come out of the door to stab the police, he would not have been shot inside the center of the room, from the back. There is not a drop of blood on the floor when he had been shot at less than 6″ distance at the back of the right chest.
The position of the body in Pic. 12 and 13 shows that he was shot from behind from the room. When the four alleged assailants were shot dead at less than 6″ distance, what was the necessity of 5 police shooting them is not known. Moreover the bullets which have pierced them have not been checked as to from which rifles they were shot. In the photographs 12,13 and 14, the body is lying in face down position, while in photograph 15 the body is on tl1e back with face up. It is also not possible to identify the room and as per the CB-CID remand report it is the bed room of Radhakrishna. On the far end of the room a bed sheet has fallen down half on the ground. The wound on the back of right chest is visible but it is dry. As the bullet did not come out of the body, there cannot be blood in the front side of the chest. But photograph 15 shows blood on the right and left of the shirt in the front and also on the sleeves. In photograph 12,13 and 14 the eyes are shut while in photograph 15 eyes are open. Some one has raised the shirt and so his chest and part of the stomach is seen. His right hand is in a different position in photograph 15 from that in photographs 12,13 and 14. There is a drop of blood on the floor near the doorsteps and two knives. If Suresh Shantharam Prabhu after being shot in the middle of the room fell down dead the knives cannot fall outside. The position of the two knives looks as if some one had placed them there. The two hands under his body proves that he had not thrown the knives away. More over, no gloves is seen in the room or outside. So the fingerprints on the knives ought to have been checked by the police. There is some blood on his pants near the right leg.
Pic.l6,17,18,l9 are of Sai Ram a student of Baba’s University. The warden has not explained how he came out of the hostel at night when it is claimed that the hostel rules are very strict. The snake bed points out that he is in Sai Baba’s bedroom. His legs are inside the door and so he was shot inside the bedroom. He has been shot at the left side of the neck from a distance less than 6″. If he was running out of the room and stab the police it would not have been possible to shoot him at the left side of the neck. His leg and body position proves that he was inside the room facing the bed.
When his palms are under his body it would not have been possible for him to remove the gloves from his hand and throw it behind his head. There is no blood on the gloves also. The blood on the planks of the door proves that he was shot from inside with the door closed. Splashes of blood are there around him up to the hips and a pool of blood in front of his face. A neat white folded cloth is also splashed with blood which would not have come from the neck injury. There is a box and a small knife near his knee joint, also a blue bag, under his left foot there is a white cloth.
In Photograph 17 there is a rope above his head in the corner of the room. The eyes are closed in photograph l6,17, 1 8, while in photograph 19 it is wide open. Someone has raised his shirt and his stomach part is seen with his left hand on it. His mouth is open and everything looks unnatural.
In all the photographs the jeans and shirt are clean without blood stains. In usual course the blood would have sprouted out immediately he was shot on the neck and drenched his dress. It is also not possible to identify the room in photograph 19.
Pic.20,21,22 and 23 are of Jagannatham. His body is lying on his right side with legs towards the door and head towards the cot and the face towards the wall. There is a watch on his left hand and his left palm is near his face. He has been shot on his right palm, on the left side of the axilla piercing the left side of the chest and another shot on the right side of the 2nd sutor costal area lacerated up to the right mammary area. Here also he has been shot from inside the room and not from outside the door. There is an object near his right palm. The floor is clean and though blood is seen on the sleeves of the right hand in pic.20, the blood is not visible in pic.2l and 22. Pic.23 is with face up. There are blotches of blood on the right side of the chest but his hand position differs from the other photographs. While in photographs 20 and 21 his left hand touches his nose, photograph 22 shows his left hand away from the nose.
Pic.24 is of Suresh Kumar with Baba. He was very near to Baba and had collected lots of mementos from him. So also other assailants. Pic.25,26,27,28 are the murder scene of Suresh Kumar in Sai Baba’s bed room.
In pic.25 and 27 you can see his feet in the space of a wooden almirah. This very clearly proves that he had not dashed out of Baba’s bed room to stab the police and really he was shot while hiding behind the almirah. He was shot in the left eye and the brain was lacerated, the 2nd shot was on the right thigh and the 3rd shot in the lateral side of the left wrist. All shots were from less than 6″ distance. There is a blood pool around him down the waist and not beyond the thigh. Though the 2nd shot was on the right thigh there is no blood on the right side of the pants. Both the hands are with blood but the blood had not splashed around after the fall. The two knifes are clean at the handle and the one near to him, the blade has blood stains. There are two gloves near him one as if dipped in blood and the other spotless. When he would have died immediately he was shot in the eye there would not have been any time to remove the gloves after having been shot on the left wrist. There is also a part of white cloth touching the red ‘gloves without any blood on it. His shirt and pants are almost spotless. In photographs 25,26,27 he has fallen on his left side. The photograph 28 shows him fallen on his back and the hands are not in the same position as in other 3 photographs 25,26,27.
These murder photographs seem to have been taken alter the bodies are moved from the place of murder and suit the built up story in the FIR by the Circle Inspector of police Gangadhar Reddy, at the direction of H.J.Dora who had rushed to Puttaparthi on the 6th night itself from Hyderabad.
Murders in the Prashanthi temple – reflections 1 On how I came to learn of the murders in the bedroom of Sai Baba, and how – despite misgivings – I rationalized the matter for some years until I was awoken to the realities by V.K. Narasimhan’s private confidences. Also: Murders in the Prashanthi temple – reflections 2
See also the two preceding blogs on this: