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    More gold found in Sai Babas room

    ANANTAPUR: Contrary to the claims of Satya Sai Central Trust members who insisted that there was no more property inside the Yajurveda mandir, government officials on Saturday found huge quantities of gold and silver articles inside the late Baba’s personal chambers.An inspection carried out by Anantapur district joint collector Anita Ramachandran led to the unearthing of gold, silver and a diamond ring, all worth nearly `80 lakh. According to her, 905 grams of gold ornaments and 116 kgs of silver articles along with a dimond ring were found during the inspection. The estimated value of the gold is Rs 15.85 lakh while the diamond ring costs `3.9 lakh. The silver articles are worth Rs 54.96 lakh making the total worth of the articles Rs 79.89 lakh.Express had earlier reported that large quantities of valuables have been concealed in the mandir. Today’s findings, officials say, is an eye-opener about the goings-on in Prashanti Nilayam.Recently, when the trustees had opened the mandir, they had found over Rs 11 crore in cash, 98 kg gold and huge quantities of silver and diamonds. They made an inventory and announced that there was nothing more inside. But that turned out to be false.“We inspected the rooms of Satya Sai Baba, his personal caretaker Satyajit’s rooms, a special office room and dining hall and found nothing. The articles were found in a small room attached to Baba’s room,” Ramachandran said. The articles found would be deposited in the bank for safekeeping, she added.In view of public apprehension regarding the valuables found in the Yajurveda Mandir, the Trust Members had asked the government to inspect the mandir. On the directions of the state government, Ramachandran inspected Baba’s residence in the presence of Trust members RJ Ratnakar, SV Giri, trust secretary Chakravarthi, Puttaparthi MRO Nagabhusahanam and Penukonda DRO B Eswar. The question that comes to the fore with this find is why had the Trust members, who had taken the inventory of the articles in the mandir for two days after it was opened on June 16, failed to reveal these valuables. Was it intentional or had they overlooked it?Further, the findings are contradictory to the statements of Trust member V Srinivasan, who during a lengthy interaction with mediapersons, had claimed they were given permission to open the mandir doors by two higher officials in the government. Srinivasan, in a recent interview with Express, had called the speculation of more property hidden in the mandir as “fanciful statements” and had insisted that the inventory was made in the presence of eminent people.