Puttaparthi: The Andhra Pradesh government stepped up security at Puttaparthi and its neighbouring areas on Friday.
Police reinforcement was rushed in and giant LCD screens put up at vantage points in Puttaparthi, Kothacheruvu and nearby villages. Barricades were set up in and around the super-speciality hospital where Sathya Sai Baba is being treated. Two helipads are being constructed at feverish pace at a private airport nearby to allow VVIPs to land. The Hill view stadium in the town, with a capacity of 50,000, is also being readied.
Top state government sources told TOI that the decision to remove the ventilator will have to be taken by members of the Sathya Sai Central Trust. “We will only maintain law and order and see that everything goes on smoothly. We will not bell the cat,” a top government official told TOI.
The Trust members went into a huddle at the hospital to discuss the next course of action. One of the members proposed that they announce Baba had attained ‘sajeeva samadhi’ (burial while still alive), said sources. But the proposal was shot down keeping in view the likely complications it could cause. Trust members seem clueless on how to deal with the inevitable, a source told TOI.
Devotees though thronged the place with more people pouring in from nearby villages. Many were crying while others prayed for Baba’s recovery.
The latest medical bulletin said his health deteriorated further and his response to treatment is poor. “His respiration is supported by ventilator. He is on CRRT system of dialysis to assist kidney functioning. His heart rate and blood pressure continue to be low,” said Dr A N Safaya, director, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medicine.
The Sai Baba’s heart beat has slowed down and his pulse rate has dropped. “Blood pressure fell rapidly while his liver developed severe infection indicating deterioration in vital health parameters,” said a hospital source. Dr Safaya said his liver had stopped functioning. Baba was on artificial liver functioning. Effectiveness of this treatment has not been proved yet.
Rayalseem inspector-general of police Santosh Mehra, supervising the security arrangement, said more forces are likely to be deployed to prevent any untoward incident. Big screens would be installed so that devotees can watch the proceedings at their villages instead of rushing to Puttaparthi.
The state government has deputed 26 tehsildars as protocol officers to Puttaparthi to look after the VVIPs. TNN