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Mystery surrounding Jayalalithaa’s death

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]ndian Karate expert and Jayalalithaa loyalist Shihan Hussaini, opened up about the mysterious death of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. Not only he but actor Kamal Hassan’s wife and other people were curious to know the sequence of death. Everyone suspects her death as ‘mysterious’ because there are many reasons to do so. Hussaini alleged that Jayalalithaa was killed and Sasikala’s husband Natarajan plotted her death. Sasikala’s husband M. Natarajan lost his job in 1976 due to the Emergency in India. The family was forced to sell or pawn jewels after being denied its main source of income. Natarajan was reinstated in his job in 1980. To supplement the family income, Sasikala opened a video renting business and later added video recording of programs and functions like marriages to the business. In the early 1980s, Natarajan requested V. S. Chandralekha, who was then the District Collector of South Arcot, to introduce his wife Sasikala to Jayalalithaa, who was then the Propaganda Secretary of the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, for recording of party functions. Sasikala and Jayalalithaa gradually became very close. On 19 December 2011, Jayalalithaa expelled Sasikala and 13 others including her husband Natarajan and their relatives, including T. T. V. Dhinakaran and Jayalalithaa’s disowned foster son V N Sudhakaran and relieved them from the AIADMK. Most members of the party welcomed her decision, but later on Sasikala managed to come back and since then the bitterness between both had grown silently.

Questions swirl over Jayalalithaa’s illness, treatment and her death on 05th December in Apollo Hospital in Chennai. Though, there have been many conspiracy theories over her death, the latest claim of Hussaini has sparked another row over the issue that whether she was poisoned or she died due to a cardiac arrest. Here are a few conspiracy theories that have been doing rounds ever since Jayalalithaa died. Before Hussaini’s claim, the latest addition to the group of conspiracy theories was a leaked email from a senior journalist, which quoted the Apollo management as saying that the late Chief Minister was on “wrong diabetes medicines” before being hospitalised in September.

A 2012 report published in the Tehelka magazine had alleged that Jayalalithaa was slow poisoned. It suggested that she was given sedatives and chemical substances with small amounts of poison. The plot was allegedly made by Sasikala and was executed by a nurse appointed by her. If ECMO (Extra corporeal membrane oxygenation) was given to her it means that she was kept alive artificially. If yes then who gave permission to pull the plug and stop ECMO. Was this the reason behind her death?

South star Gautami Tadimalla wrote to PM Narendra Modi for drawing his attention towards Jayalalithaa’s treatment and death. She mentioned ,“Her demise is all the more tragic and unsettling because of the circumstances over the past few months and the sheer volume of unanswered questions about our late Chief Minister’s hospitalisation, treatment, reported recovery and very sudden passing, alleging an information blackout.” Gautami also asked few questions surrounding the death which are still unanswered. She asked why secrecy was maintained and isolation of a beloved public leader and head of the Tamil Nadu government? Whose authority restricted access to the late chief minister? Who were the persons making the decisions about Jayalalithaa’s treatment when her health was in this delicate state? Who is responsible for answering these questions to the people?

A vacation Bench of the Madras High Court expressed deep concern at the “mystery” behind the death of Jayalalithaa, and observed that “the State government has failed to clear the doubts even after her death. Should her body be exhumed to know the truth?” Ordering notice to the Centre, including the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), and the Tamil Nadu government, the Bench censured particularly the Union government for not revealing any information on the “mystery” surrounding her death. While hearing a petition on Jayalalithaa’s death, Justice Vaidyalingam said, “Media has raised a lot of doubts and personally I also have doubts on Jayalalithaa’s death. When she was admitted in hospital, it was said that she was on proper diet. At least after her death, truth should be revealed.”

Since her death, the cause of her illness has been an intense topic of media speculations and dominated the political discourse of Tamil Nadu politics. The petition was moved by P.A. Stalin, a primary member of the AIADMK, relying on a precedent set by the Calcutta High Court in 1999 of directing the constitution of a one-man commission of a retired apex court judge to probe into the death of ‘Netaji’ Subhash Chandra Bose. The petitioner sought the appointment of a similar commission under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 to find out the truth behind Jayalalithaa’s death. Stalin also wanted the court to pass interim order to the State authorities and the Apollo Hospitals calling for all official and other relevant records and documents in connection with the death. After ordering notice to the respondents, the Bench referred the PIL to the Chief Justice to list the plea in an appropriate Bench.

Voters and cadre of the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) are questioning as to why the admission, ailment and treatment of the late Chief Minister was shrouded in such mystery. Now VK Sasikala took over leadership of the third largest party in Parliament, the AIADMK. In the meanwhile, as a constructed event plays out at Poes Garden, residence of the late Jayalalithaa as well as that of Sasikala, party leaders and cadre line up every day to greet ‘Chinnamma’ and urge her to take charge of the party. Party mouthpiece Jaya TV airs daily, an embarrassed-looking Sasikala nodding her head vigorously, seemingly declining the leaders’ request for her to take over. On the night of her death, Sasikala’s face on poster was blackened and ripped off all over the state. People are yet to accept both, Sasikala as their new leader and Jaya Amma’s death. Let’s see, what future is going to unfurl for Tamil Nadu.

(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on [email protected])

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 14 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazine Beyond The News (international). She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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