Panel investigating Jayalalithaa’s death releases her last-known audio clips from hospital
Opposition leader MK Stalin said the government was using the panel to divert attention from the deaths in Thoothukudi.
The panel investigating the death of J Jayalalithaa has released an audio recording of the former Tamil Nadu chief minister in the hospital weeks before her death in 2016. Her doctor KS Sivakumar on Saturday submitted the clips as evidence to the panel investigating the circumstances of her hospitalisation and death, PTI reported.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Working President MK Stalin criticised the release of the audio clips and said the government was using the panel to divert attention from the police firing at protestors in Thoothukudi on Tuesday, in which 13 people were killed.
An official in the Justice A Arumughaswamy Commission of Inquiry made the recordings public on Saturday. They were allegedly recorded on the night of September 27, 2016, five days after Jayalalithaa was admitted to Apollo Hospital in Chennai. Reports said that in one clip, she is heard telling a doctor that her high blood pressure reading was normal for her, and in another, she is heard coughing and commenting on her breathing problem to Sivakumar, who wanted to download an application to record her wheezing.
Sivakumar claimed he recorded the clips on Jayalalithaa’s request as she wanted to send them to a specialist doctor for further evaluation. He also submitted to the panel handwritten notes dated August 2, 2016, in which Jayalalithaa planned her diet.
The state government had set up the commission to investigate Jayalalithaa’s death in September 2017. Jayalalithaa was taken to hospital on September 22, 2016, and she died on December 5 that year.