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Indian guru in 'critical' condition: hospital

05 april 2011, 11:51
One of India's most famous spiritual gurus is in a critical condition in the intensive care unit of a southern hospital where thousand of devotees have gathered, AFP reports citing local officials.

Satya Sai Baba, 85, who has followers across the world, was admitted to a hospital funded by his organisation in the town of Puttaparthi with lung and chest congestion on March 28.

His condition has since deteriorated and he is now on a ventilator and is receiving kidney dialysis, the most recent health bulletin from the hospital late on Monday evening said.

"The vital systems are not adequately responding. The condition of Baba is critical. The panel of doctors treating him are doing their best to make the systems respond," said hospital director A.N. Safaya in a statement.

Thousands of followers have begun arriving in Puttaparthi, in southeastern Andhra Pradesh state, with many agitated by conflicting information given out by local authorities. Government officials have said his condition is stable.

Sai Baba, whose devotees believe him to be an incarnation of God in human form, has a following of millions in India and abroad.

The guru, who claims to have performed several miracles including bringing two dead men back to life, counts former Indian prime ministers, top businessmen and even the country's cricketers among his followers.

His organisation funds health and education projects in India.

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