Jayalalithaa died on December 5, 2016, after being treated at Chennai’s Apollo Hospital for 75 days
A one-man commission probing the circumstances of the death of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has banned any reportage or debate on the matter by television channels and newspapers. Jayalalithaa died nearly two years ago after a long illness. Alleging there was a big mystery around be death, Tamil Nadu’s opposition DMK had demanded that the matter be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The Arumugaswamy commission’s stricture came after VK Sasikala, who was companion to Jayalalithaa, objected to a programme aired by a local television channel titled “Jaya death mystery”.
The commission has asked news agencies to submit any evidence they may have on the death of the former Chief Minister, who died on December 5, 2016, after being treated at Chennai’s Apollo Hospital for 75 days.
The state government had formed the investigation commission in September last year.
Nine months after her death, the state’s Forest Minister Dindigul C Sreenivasan asked for the public’s forgiveness for lying about her health when she was at hospital. “None of us saw Jayalalithaa when she was hospitalised… We were forced to lie,” Mr Sreenivasan said, adding fuel to the DMK’s demand for an investigation.
“We would have told lies that she (Jayalalithaa) had idlis (steamed rice cakes), and people met her. The truth is that nobody saw her,” the minister said.
The state government’s decision was challenged in the Supreme Court, but the court had turned down the petition.
The commission, which got two extensions, has now completed the examination of witnesses – a long list that includes the doctors treating her, the paramedical staff of the hospital and the political leaders who were at the hospital.