After Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s medical condition deteriorated on December 4 and she suffered a cardiac arrest, the already tight security cordon around Chennai’s Apollo Hospital has been further strengthened because of the clamour of her supporters at the gates.
Amidst all the furore, Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa Jayakumar was once again denied access to the Chief Minister. According to reports, AIADMK cadre, who refused her entry and asked her to leave, turned abusive at one point leading to a scuffle.
Speaking to the media outside the hospital, Deepa said, “I am not being allowed inside the hospital. I want to ask them why am I not being allowed inside. On whose orders am I being kept outside?”
Since Jayalalithaa’s admission into Apollo on September 22, a complete security curtain has been raised around the Chief Minister, with only a select handful of persons allowed to see her, and information about her condition being meticulously regulated to the bare minimum. Even Jayalalithaa’s relatives have had no access to her.
Deepa had earlier made an attempt to see Jayalalithaa in the beginning of October, but was denied entry into the hospital then too. She had reportedly waited outside the hospital for three days to meet the CM.
Even after she identified herself, and said that she would not leave until she had a chance to see the Chief Minister, she said that she was told “some person in high authority” would get in touch with her, but the call never came.
“There is some block. There is somebody, I cannot say who. There is definitely someone who is blocking (me from) meeting my aunt. I want to hold her hand, tend to her during this critical time. I want to be next to her and take care of her. But there is some block,” Deepa was then quoted as saying by Deccan Chronicle.
Deepa had then said that while Jayalalithaa had been present at her father (and Jayalalithaa’s brother) Jayakumar’s funeral, she has not been allowed to meet the CM ever since, even on the occasion her mother was critically ill.
Following her cardiac arrest on Sunday, Jayalalithaa is being monitored and treated by a team of cardiologists, pulmonologists and critical care specialists. With only one briefly-worded update coming from hospital authorities, and plenty of rumour spreading, the situation was quite tense outside Apollo Hospital on Sunday night.
At one point, AIADMK party cadres managed to break through the outer barricades and reach the main gate of the hospital, before being driven back by the police. The police had also set up additional barricades within the main gates to avoid further untoward incidents.
The entire police force was mobilised in Chennai and across Tamil Nadu to ensure that events did not spiral out of control. However, an uneasy calm prevailed as supporters across the state remained waiting and watching to see how her condition would turn out.