Jaya was sedated when I visited her: TN Governor’s 2016 letter to President

The October 2016 letter by then Governor Vidyasagar Rao apprises then President Pranab Mukherjee of the developments following Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation.
Jaya was sedated when I visited her: TN Governor’s 2016 letter to President
Jaya was sedated when I visited her: TN Governor’s 2016 letter to President
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Even as the circumstances around former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s death continue to be probed, a copy of the letter written by then Governor Vidyasagar Rao to then President Pranab Mukherjee has now emerged in the public domain.

The letter apprising the President of developments was dated October 6, 2016, five days after Vidyasagar Rao visited the ailing Chief Minister at Apollo Hospitals in Chennai, where she was receiving treatment. Rao, who was then Governor of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, stated that he flew down to the city following Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation. "Considering the situation, I came to Chennai on 01.10.2016 in the evening and immediately visited Apollo Hospital. I interacted with the Chairman of Apollo Hospitals and the team of Doctors attending to the Chief Minister and ascertained the details of the treatment being given to her and visited the Chief Minister in the ward where she was being treated. She was under sedation at that time," writes the then Governor.

Incidentally, the press release from Raj Bhavan on October 1, 2016 after the Governor visited Jayalalithaa states that he was explained in detail about the treatment given to her and that he was happy to note that she was recovering well. "The Governor of Tamil Nadu presented a basket of fruits and wished the Hon'ble Chief Minister a speedy recovery," read the statement.

With the state government and Apollo Hospital providing little information on Jayalalithaa’s health at the time, the Governor’s letter to the President reveals that he had instructed the Chief Secretary to ensure that regular medical bulletins were issued on the CM’s health. This as wild rumours were floating around on social media about Jayalalithaa’s condition with the state doing little to dispel the false information.

The Governor writes, "Wild rumours started flowing especially through social media prompting the Police to issue a warning of serious action on rumor mongers under relevant sections of the IPC and the IT Act. On 30.09.2016, the Central Crime Branch of Chennai Police booked a case against one Tamizhachi, residing in France, for allegedly posting comments on a social networking site about the health of the Chief Minister."

“I instructed the Chief Secretary to ensure that the hospital issues regular bulletins about the health of the Chief Minister and to keep a close watch on the law and order situation in the State,” reads the letter.

The letter also states that after his visit, the hospital issued regular press releases with updates on her health and added that the treatment given to Jayalalithaa was endorsed by the sepsis and cardio-respiratory expert Dr Richard Beale from the UK. The then Governor had also written about the team of doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) who were in Chennai for consulting on the CM’s health.

Former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was admitted in Apollo Hospitals on September 22, 2016 for fever and dehydration. She died on December 5, 2016 after prolonged hospitalisation.

Justice A Arumughaswamy Commission was set up on September 25, 2017 by the TN CM Edappadi Palaniswami. The commission has been tasked to inquire into the circumstances leading to her hospitalisation and the treatment provided to her till her death.

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