A suspended school teacher Sarat Patra, who had courted controversy for his links with Sarathi Baba, was arrested by Crime Branch (CB) for allegedly issuing threats to the woman who had lodged an FIR against the self-styled godman. Patra, Crime Branch sources said, had a role in issuing threats and blackmailing the medical student who had accompanied Sarathi Baba, originally Santosh Raula, to Hyderabad. He is believed to have sent two women to the medico’s house to avoid any allegations against the controversial godman.
In fact, the second woman, who had accused Raula of sexually assaulting her, had also allegedly received threats and Patra was behind it. The probe agency sources said the suspended teacher, who was a close aide of Raula, also happened to be a member of the latter’s inner circle.
His proximity to the godman may have given him access to information on the cash and other valuables which Raula is believed to have stashed away. Kendrapara-based Patra was so actively involved with Raula’s activities that he had driven all the way to Bhubaneswar to hold brief for the godman after the controversy surfaced earlier this month. He faced a hostile public and was rescued by the Kharavela Nagar Police. Soon, he was placed under suspension.