Speculation rife over Jayalalithaa’s health, cops crack down on rumour mongers
The 68-year-old Jayalalithaa, whose health condition has always been a highly-guarded secret, was admitted to the private hospital on September 22 with complaints of fever and dehydration.Updated: Oct 06, 2016 14:06 IST
Tamil Nadu police on Saturday cracked down on people allegedly speculating about Jayalalithaa’s health, even as the ruling AIADMK refused to release photos of the reticent chief minister undergoing treatment at a private hospital for over a week.
The Apollo Hospital authorities flew in multi-organ failure treatment specialist and acute lung injury expert from London, Richard John Beale, on Friday night, adding to the confusion over Jaya’s health condition.
The 68-year-old CM, whose health condition has always been a highly-guarded secret, was admitted to the private hospital on September 22 with complaints of fever and dehydration.
Jayalalithaa, a former actress, is known to be a chronic diabetic and suffers from high blood pressure and arthritis.
The AIADMK and the hospital continued to issue identical statements, saying the CM was fine and responding well to treatment.
Dr Beale, a consultant critical care physician at London Bridge Hospital, also said the CM was receiving the “best course of treatment” and he would be on hand for the next few days as a consultant.
However, in the absence of visual evidence to back the assertions of AIADMK spokesperson CR Saraswathi and senior leader Panruti Ramachandran, wild speculations spread fast on social media and by word of mouth.
Outside the hospital, supporters of Amma — as she is popularly known among her followers — milled around the gate, hoping for the “latest” news on her.
Some of them were visibly worried as they spoke in hushed tones about what could be ailing the leader.
Acting governor Vidyasagar Rao also visited the hospital on Saturday evening to enquire about the CM’s health and told the media that she was recovering well.
Police arrested one DMK worker on Saturday and booked three others, including a France-based blogger, for allegedly spreading rumours about her health.
The blogger, identified as Tamizachi, was booked for allegedly writing that Jayalalithaa has been dead for days, police said.
On Friday, DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi demanded release of Jayalalithaa’s pictures to scotch the rumours.
However, AIADMK senior leader Ramachandran said the party and the chief minister “are answerable to the people and not to the opposition”.
Karunanidhi, as well as BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, are facing defamation cases for speculating on her health earlier. A spate of publications that speculated on her health too were slapped with defamation cases.
First Published: Oct 02, 2016 00:46 IST