Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa is making headlines once again in October 2022, five years after her death. After the enigmatic leader died, a political storm raged over Tamil Nadu as many theories regarding the death of the popular leader were made.
Fondly known as Amma, Jayalalithaa’s death ensured the rise of many conspiracy theories, including allegations by several top political personalities that her death was not natural. Following these allegations the Tamil Nadu state government and Chief Minister O Pannerselvam set-up an inquiry commission to investigate the discrepancies in explaining Jayalalithaa’s death. Let’s take a look at the questions that surround Jayalalithaa’s death.
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The exact date of Jayalalithaa’s death
According to the Apollo Hospitals in Chennai, where Jayalalithaa underwent treatment for 75 days before her death, the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister died at 11:30 pm on December 5, 2016.
The local press had reported her death on the evening of the same day, however, the hospital officials quashed the news and said that the AIADMK chief was alive and on life support.
KS Gita, an advocate and a friend of the late AIADMK chief claimed in 2017 that Jayalalithaa died the very same night when she was admitted to the hospital. However, she said that the information about her death was suppressed.
Cause of Jayalalithaa’s death
Former Tamil Nadu deputy speaker PH Pandian claimed in February 2017 that Jayalalithaa was pushed at her residence in Chennai and she collapsed after that. Pandian also claimed that the former CM had to be admitted to the hospital owing to injuries she sustained in the fall.
He also alleged that Sasikala did not cry or mourn after the death of the party chief and voiced her opinion for an investigation into the death later.
Apart from Pandian, many reports quoted AIADMK leaders who claimed that Jayalalithaa may have been poisoned. However, corroborating evidence was not found in these claims, which were made by leaders who were reportedly close to the late leader.
What is it that Jayalalithaa suffered from and what was the treatment?
When Jayalalithaa was first admitted to the hospital, it was reported that she was suffering from fever and dehydration. As per a medical report by Apollo Hospitals, “The Chief Minister was drowsy and had difficulty breathing, but could speak when she was brought to Apollo Hospital on September 22.”
Dr Richard Beale, a prominent doctor from London Bridge Hospital was flown in to treat the AIADMK leader. Beale later said that Jayalalithaa died of acute sepsis which resulted in multiple organ failures.
A picture of Jayalalitha’s dead body which had four dots on her cheeks, went viral on social media after her death with subsequent rumours that she had an amputation or a transplant. However, Dr Beale later said that it is normal for similar patients but no amputation or transplants had taken place.
While a cardiac arrest was the official cause of the death of Jayalalithaa, the full extent of her medical condition during her time at Apollo Hospitals has never been released.
Dr Beale also claimed that his patient had wished against opting for treatment abroad, but no corroborating evidence of it was released publically.
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Did Jayalalithaa have Idli on hospital bed?
Former Tamil Nadu Forest minister Dindigul C Sreenivasan made an apology at a rally in Madurai in 2017, claiming that he and several other party leaders lied about Amma eating ‘Idli and chutney’ on her hospital bed. He also claimed that they were instructed by Sasikala to spread these lies.
Party leader Vellamandi N Natarajan also claimed that Sasikala did not allow anybody to see the AIADMK chief during her stay at the hospital. “The truth is that none of us saw Jayalalithaa during that period of hospitalisation. We only saw her body when it was brought out of the hospital lift on December 4 at night,” he claimed.