Her death was confirmed by Apollo Hospitals, who had earlier denied media reports of her passing away, the Indian Express reported.
The hospital announced that Jayalalithaa passed away at 11.30 pm. “It is with indescribable grief that we announce the sad demise of esteemed CM,” read the statement. Her body is expected to be moved to her residence soon. The Chief Minister’s convoy has been put on standby and there was a huge deployment of police on the roads leading to Poes Garden. Tamil Nadu police also took over control of Apollo Hospitals.
Jayalalithaa has been receiving treatment at the hospital since September 22. She made a brief statement after AIADMK won the recently concluded bypolls. Senior AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam chaired a meeting of party MLAs at the AIADMK headquarters in Royapettah. The MLAs reportedly gathered to ratify a succession plan. Tamil Nadu Speaker Dhanapal is expected to meet Governor Vidyasagar Rao.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was briefed by Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu. Security was heightened outside Apollo Hospitals and in Chennai. At least 6,000 police personnel descended on the capital to ensure that law and order is not disturbed. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also said that law and order will not be a problem in Tamil Nadu.
Earlier in the day, there was high drama earlier outside Apollo and AIADMK headquarters in Royapettah. A scuffle broke out between AIADMK supporters and police after news of her “death” was widely reported by the media. The party flag was also seen flying at half mast before it was hoisted again amid sloganeering supporters. (Colombo Gazette)