Sea of humanity at Sai Baba's abode

Sea of humanity at Sai Baba's abode

The body was brought to Sai Kulwant Hall at Prashanti Nilayam, where people in large number including men and women filed past his mortal remains. The body will be kept at the hall tomorrow and the day after to enable devotees pay their last respects.

As the ambulance carrying the body reached Prashanthi Nilayam, a frenzied crowd tried to barge inside and the police had a trying time keeping the emotionally surcharged people at bay.

Police personnel even used mild force against the people as they forced their way running behind the ambulance inside the Prashanti Nilayam main gate. As the police put up several barricades near Prashanti Nilayam to control the crowd, people including men and women, raised anti-police slogans.

They sat on dharna in front of the Prashanti Nilayam and complained that police were not allowing them to have a darshan. As the body was brought inside the Prashanti Nilayam premises several wailing women ran towards the vehicle but security personnel pushed them away.

Earlier, when Sai Baba's death was announced at 10.35 am, devotees who were singing bhajans broke into tears and could not be easily consoled.

"We are shocked at the news. Baba had said he will live till the age of 96," a devotee said, sobbing.

Another wailing devotee said, "We strongly believe Baba can go no where and he will definitely come back."

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister M K Stalin and actor-turned-politician K Chiranjeevi were among the VIPs who paid their respects at Prashanti Nilayam.

Earlier, Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan and Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy also paid their respects to Sai Baba. Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan also reached here to pay floral tributes.