Sasikala’s husband M Natarajan dies, party leaders pay tributes
It is not immediately known when the final rites will be held as the family anticipates a possible parole for Sasikala, who is serving a jail term in Bengaluru prison in the Rs 66.6 crore disproportionate assets case.india Updated: Mar 20, 2018 12:50 IST
M Natarajan, husband of jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala, on Tuesday died at a corporate hospital in Chennai.
The 74 year-old Natarajan, admitted to the hospital on Saturday with chest infection, breathed his last in the early hours on Tuesday.
“It is with profound grief and sorrow that we announce the sad demise of Natarajan Maruthappa at 1.35am today,” Shanmuga Priyan, chief operating officer of Gleneagles Global Health City, said.
“Every possible clinical attempt was made to sustain his revival. However, despite our best efforts he was unable to recover,” Priyan said in a statement.
Sources in the Bengaluru central prison said Sasikala has applied for a 15-day parole to attend her husband’s funeral.
Natarajan’s body was kept at his Besant Nagar residence in Chennai, where scores of political leaders and others paid homage.
DMK’s working president MK Stalin, Dravidar Kazhagam president K Veeramani and lyricist Vairamuthu were among those whole condoled Natarajan’s death.
Expressing “shock” over Natarajan’s demise, Stalin, the Leader of opposition in the assembly, recalled the former’s early association with his party and active participation in various pro-Tamil agitations.
He praised Natarajan for his dedication towards the Dravidian movement and love for Tamil language.
“No one can forget his involvement in struggles for Tamil as a member of the DMK’s student wing,” he told reporters after paying homage to Natarajan.
The DMK had spearheaded the anti-Hindi agitation in Tamil Nadu in the 1965s against the alleged imposition of the language, drawing huge support, especially from youngsters and college students.
Natarajan’s death is an “irreparable loss”, Stalin said and expressed his sympathies with the family on his behalf and that of party chief M Karunanidhi.
MDMK founder Vaiko also paid tributes to Natarajan, hailing him for his participation in the anti-Hindi agitation as a student-activist.
He also recalled his long association with Natarajan and the latter’s concern for the Sri Lankan Tamils and their welfare.
Natarajan’s body will be taken to his native village in Thanjavur district for the final rites.
However, it was not immediately known when the final rites will be held as the family anticipates a parole for Sasikala.
Convicted in the Rs 66.6-crore disproportionate assets case, Sasikala is serving a four-year jail term in the Bengaluru Parappana Agrahara prison since February last after the Supreme Court upheld a lower court judgement.
She was later “expelled” from the AIADMK by the Panneerselvam-Palaniswami camp.
Sasikala was granted an emergency parole when Natarajan underwent a liver-kidney transplant in October last year.
Natarajan was an avid Tamil activist and also ran a vernacular magazine called “Puthiya Paarvai”.
He was formerly a public relations officer with the state government.
In 2011, Natarajan was one of the family members of Sasikala who were expelled by former chief minister and then AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa from the party for alleged anti-party activities.
However, Jayalalithaa later re-inducted her into the party.
First Published: Mar 20, 2018 07:40 IST