Divakaran, the brother of jailed All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader VK Sasikala on Wednesday claimed that former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had died on December 4, 2017, not on December 5, and that the party had delayed announcing the news.
He claimed the AIADMK had not announced Jayalalithaa’s death for security reasons. Anticipating violence from grief-stricken supporters, the AIADMK had used this time to tighten the security at all branches of Apollo Hospital in Tamil Nadu, Sasikala’s brother claimed.
Jayalalithaa was admitted at the Greams Road branch in Chennai.
“Jayalalithaa died on December 4 at 5.15 pm,” Divakaran said, according to The Indian Express. “Jayalsalithaa is believed to have suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday [December 4] and was declared dead the next day. On the evening of December 5, media reports started doing the rounds that Jayalalithaa had passed away. But the hospital denied the reports initially, saying they were providing her with ‘life-saving’ measures. They finally declared Jayalalithaa had breathed her last at 11.30 pm.”
In September 2017, The Tamil Nadu government set up a Commission of Inquiry under Justice A Arumughaswamy after state ministers made contradicting claims about their access to Jayalalithaa while she was hospitalised. The commission was asked “inquire into the circumstances and situation leading to the hospitalisation of Jayalalithaa on September 22, 2016, and the subsequent treatment provided to her till her demise on December 5, 2016”.
Tamil Nadu Forest Minister Dindigul Srinivasan had claimed in September 2017 AIADMK leaders had misled the public into believing that Jayalalithaa’s health was improving as they were afraid of Sasikala. Days later, Tamil Nadu Co-operation Minister Sellur K Raju added to the speculation by saying that all ministers had met Jayalalithaa when she was in hospital.