Mrunal Manmay Dash

Supporters of self-proclaimed Godman, Santosh Raul also known as Sarathi Baba, who is currently out on bail, took out a procession. Sarathi’s followers took out a ‘Paduka' procession in Malkangiri on Monday.

As per reports, in a symbolic gesture, the supporters of the controversial Sarathi Baba, have been offering worship to a pair of shoes (Kathau/Paduka) as a representation of him. Sources informed that the procession will carry the pair of shoes across the district in a bid to garner support for Sarathi baba.

A follower of Sarathi said, "He is like God to us. We worship him and do not feel any need to prove our devotion to others."

This is the end of Kali Yuga. So we are spreading the religion everywhere. All doubts which have been created against Baba Sarathi in the minds of people, are all lies," said anothet devotee.

In August 2022, Sarathi Ashram, located at Barimula in Kendrapara district, was in news after a video of Sarathi’s followers worshipping his photo in the ashram went viral.

In the video, followers of Sarathi could be seen placing the photo of him on a pedestal, doing yajna and offering ‘puja’ with flowers and sandalwood paste. They were also seen offering a mass prayer.

In July 2019, the Orissa High Court granted bail to the self-styled godman Sarathi in a case registered by Crime Branch of the Odisha Police, around four years after he was arrested on August 7, 2015.

As per the conditions put forth by the HC, Sarathi cannot visit Barimula or Kendrapara. He is not allowed to take out a procession after being released from jail, the court ordered. Besides, Sarathi has to inform the investigating officer (IO) where he is staying.

(Reported By Jitendra Beura, OTV)