AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa has announced cash relief of Rs 3 lakh to the next of kin of the 193 people who died — out of shock or suicide — after she was jailed in the disproportionate assets case. The move, however, has come under attack with many questioning the authenticity of the deaths.
A day after the former chief minister returned to her Poes Gardens home in Chennai, she announced the ex-gratia to the families of the deceased and `50,000 to the three persons, who had attempted to take their lives.
TKS Elangovan, DMK spokesperson questioned them on how they got the numbers and added since committing suicide is a crime, the police should have registered FIRs. Former senior bureaucrat and civil society activist, MG Devasahayam, too dismissed the claim.
“Highly exaggerated and absurd,” he said, likening it to the claim of over 400 “suicides” or “death out of shock” made by Congress leaders after the death of the then Andhra Pradesh CM YS Rajashekhara Reddy.
“There is no narrative. No independent backing of the number. It is possible that even natural deaths may have been included,” he added.
Gnani Sankaran, columnist and political analyst, was of a similar view. “It is an effort to build public opinion to show that Jayalalithaa has such an overwhelming mass support and so much goodwill,” he said.
An AIADMK release said 17 persons died due to self-immolation, 20 committed suicide by hanging, nine drank poison and three jumped before trains and a total of 139 people died of cardiac arrest.
But these numbers have not been independently verified.