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    Casket not ordered by us, clarifies Sai Trust

    Puttaparthi: The Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust on Thursday clarified that it had never ordered the freezer box to keep the body of Sathya Sai Baba before his last rites.

    The Trust denied reports in a section of the media that the freezer box was ordered as early as April 4, though the spiritual guru's death was declared on April 24.

    Trust member Venu Srinivasan said a devotee of Baba had arranged for the casket and it was brought to Prashanti Nilayam only after his demise.

    "We never ordered any casket. There is so much devotion among devotees that it was sent by a devotee," he said.

    "We had to locate a casket for making proper arrangements. The casket arrived only after Baba passed away," he added, refusing to answer any further queries.

    The row over the casket erupted after Coimbatore-based Kumar and Co International claimed that the casket was ordered at its Bangalore branch on April 4 by a Rajendranath Reddy. It was sold for Rs107,000.

    The freezer box was reportedly transported to Puttaparthi the next day.

    The 85-year-old guru was admitted to Sathya Sai super speciality hospital on March 28 with multi-organ dysfunction.