Chennai Police on Monday arrested two people for allegedly circulating rumours about Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s health on social media. There have been 43 cases filed in the city so far for misreporting on the leader’s health, The Times of India reported.
One of the men arrested is a software engineer who manages a website on which he uploaded false information about the leader, the English daily said. He also uploaded an audio clip of someone allegedly posing as an employee of the hospital Jayalalithaa has been admitted in.
The arrests came the same day the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam launched a social media campaign urging supporters to help end speculation about the chief minister’s condition. The AIADMK has asked supporters to use the campaign’s image as their profile picture and use the hashtags #MyCMIsFine and #NoMoreRumours.
Jayalalithaa was hospitalised on September 22 for dehydration and fever. Apollo Hospital on Monday released a statement saying she is being constantly monitored by “intensivists and other consultants in the expert panel”, and that she is on respiratory support, while being given antibiotics, nutrition, supportive therapy and passive physiotherapy.
Several leaders including Opposition leader MK Stalin have visited Apollo Hospital in Chennai in an attempt to meet the AIADMK chief. However, speculation about her health continues. On Monday, expelled AIADMK member Sasikala Puspa demanded an investigation into Jayalalithaa’s illness. She said, “It should be found out that whether she fell sick naturally and or was forced to become sick,” according to PTI. She alleged that the chief minister’s aide Sasikala Natarajan was controlling administration in the state, and demanded an inquiry into her income and properties.
The chief minister's health has been a major concern for the state, as rumours circulate that her condition has deteriorated significantly, even though the party has maintained that she is recovering. Mass prayer sessions, seeking divine intervention for the chief minister's speedy recovery, are being held across the state. Her illness comes as the state is embroiled in the Cauvery water-sharing dispute with Karnataka.