CHENNAI: J Jayalalithaa was drowsy and had difficulty breathing, but could speak when she was brought to Chennai’s Apollo hospital on September 22 last year, says the first medical report that was filed that day and has now been accessed by local media.
The report noted that the then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister possibly had pneumonia and that her blood pressure, pulse rate and sugar level were high and oxygen in her body was at 43 per cent. Sources at Apollo hospital have refused to comment as the matter is in court.
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- Much of this information matches the report of UK interventionist Dr Richard Beale after Ms Jayalalithaa’s death in December last year. An inquiry commission has been set up to investigate her hospitalisation and death.
- The commission will also investigate the circumstances that led to the AIADMK chief being taken to hospital and her treatment, amid conspiracy theories around her illness and death, reinforced over the last week by leaders of the ruling party saying they were not allowed to see Ms Jayalalithaa in hospital.
- Retired high court judge Justice Arumugasamy, 65, who will investigate the circumstances of Ms Jayalalithaa’s death, has been given three months to report his findings. An order on Wednesday evening indicated that the government has given the retired judge a free hand.
- O Panneerselvam, who is now Deputy Chief Minister, was the first top AIADMK leader to allege that there was more to Ms Jayalalithaa’s death than what was made public, and had complained earlier this year that he did not get to see her in hospital, demanding an investigation.
- The inquiry commission was set up after the AIADMK faction led by Mr Panneerselvam, or OPS, merged with that led by Chief Minister E Palaniswami last month. An inquiry into their leader’s death was a pre-condition set by the OPS camp for the reunion, a demand seen to target VK Sasikala, Ms Jayalalithaa’s long-time aide, who was the only one allowed access to her at the hospital.
- Last week, the state’s Forest Minister Dindigul Srinivasan apologised for party leaders making claims like they saw “Amma eating idlis” at the hospital in all-is-well reports. He said ministers lied because they were afraid of Ms Sasikala.
- Another minister OS Manian said yesterday that party leaders were not allowed to see the former chief minister at the hospital and were only briefed on her health by the hospital’s chairman Prathap Reddy and the state’s health secretary, J Radhakrishnan.
- But one minister, Sellur Raju, has said he and other colleagues had met Ms Jayalalithaa in hospital. The opposition DMK has demanded a CBI inquiry.
- VK Sasikala, who is in jail in a corruption case, assumed massive power as the only one who could access Ms Jayalalithaa during her hospitalisation and soon after her death on December 5 took over as the AIADMK chief.
- Ms Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dinakaran, who she appointed as the AIADMK number 2, have been evicted from the party after the merger, but they are fighting back to regain control. Mr Dinakaran has claimed that Ms Sasikala shot a video of Ms Jayalalithaa in hospital but it cannot be made public as the former chief minister was “in a nightie.”