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Puttapurthi: Thousands lined up at Prashanti Nilayam in this pilgrim town for a last 'darshan' of spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba, who died om Sunday. The devotees, including top politicians, bureaucrats and celebrities began entering Baba's ashram around 7 pm to pay their last respects. With folded hands, the devotees, mainly VIPs, were seen passing by the body of Baba in Sai Kulwant Hall.
Though Baba's face was covered when Andhra Pradesh governor ESL Narashiman and chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy paid their last respects at the hospital, it was not covered at Prashanti Nilayam.
The body was wrapped in saffron-coloured cloth. The body was kept in glass casket with a huge portrait installed towards the head. Sathya Sai Central Trust members, close relatives and disciples of Baba and top officials were sitting around the casket while devotees were allowed to have a glimpse of the spiritual leader from a distance.
Thousands of common devotees from different parts of India, and even abroad, lined up outside Prashanti Nilayam, waiting for their turn to enter and have last darshan of the godman. Police had to repeatedly use force to control the crowd. Some women said they were waiting for four to five hours without food and water.
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