Misty-eyed crowds, chest-beating women supporters, praying congregations were some of the scenes witnessed outside Apollo Hospitals on Greams Road in Chennai on Monday where Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was undergoing treatment for a cardiac arrest that she suffered last night.
Late in the night after 12 PM, Apollo hospitals declared that the Chief Minister passed on at 11.30 PM on December 5. Her body is set to be kept at Rajaji Hall for the public to pay their respects.
Leading to the announcement of the death, there had several developments.
Here's all that took place over the course of the day:
Though the crowd that gathered last night had thinned out, heavy police forces were stationed at Greams Road and locals were allowed to pass the hospital lane only after checks.
The chief minister was put on an Extracorporeal membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), an artificial device that carries out functions of the heart and lung. READ HERE
All the AIADMK MLAs, meanwhile, were told to assemble at the Apollo Hospital by 8:30 am for a meeting that was reportedly scheduled to take place at around 11 am. Some of the portfolios of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had been allocated to Finance Minister O Panneerselvam on October 11.
The consequences of the CM’s health was also seen in neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka with RTC buses suspending its TN-bound services.
Despite this, business in the rest of the state remained as usual with schools and colleges and commercial establishments functioning as usual.
Police were also deployed at DMK headquarters, Anna Arivalayam on Anna Salai. AIADMK cadres, around the same time, started assembling at Greams Road outside Apollo Hospital.
Union health minister JP Nadda on Twitter said they were constantly in touch with the Apollo doctors and had sent a team from Delhi AIIMS to Chennai. He later briefed PM Narendra Modi about Jayalalithaa’s medical condition.
AIIMS doctors Dr Anjan Trikha, Dr Deva Gourou, Dr G C Khilnani and Dr Rajeev Narang were among those treating J Jayalalithaa at Apollo Hospital.
Meanwhile, the state police issued a stern warning against spreading rumours on the health of Jayalalithaa on social networking sites. At the same time, security along the Kerala-TN borders was stepped up. Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju also assured extra security if Tamil Nadu needs it. READ HERE
MLAs later in the day began the meeting at Apollo hospital.
The US consulate, meanwhile, issued an “emergency message” for American citizens, asking them to review their personal security plans and remain aware of the local events. READ HERE
With tempers and tensions running equally high as the day advanced further, Apollo hospital in a bulletin said Chief minister Jayalalithaa was ‘very critical’ and was on ECMO and other life support systems.
After KSRTC, the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) turned to a wait-and-watch approach on operating buses to Chennai in a bid to avoid any untoward incidents. READ HERE
In the middle of all the frenzy, Bengaluru-based firms wary of visiting IIT-Madras for campus recruitment decided to do interviews over Skype. READ MORE
Towards the afternoon, reports of a minor scuffle between the police and the party cadres were reported outside the hospital. A few of the city schools had informed parents to pick up their wards by 2.30 pm. As per reports, some software firms in Mahindra World City, Olympia Tech Park, TRIL asked their staffers to wrap up work and leave for home. Hewlett Packard Enterprises also asked employees in both their Chennai premises to leave.
Cops were having a tough time managing the crowds outside Apollo Hospital as supporters of Jayalalithaa entered into arguments, asking they be allowed inside the hospital. The team of AIIMS doctors reached Chennai, meanwhile.
Sangita Reddy, executive director of Apollo Hospitals in a tweet said, “Despite our best efforts, our beloved CM remains in a grave situation.” Echoing her statement, Richard Beale, a doctor from the UK who was treating Jayalalithaa at Apollo, issued a statement where he said, “The situation is extremely grave, but I can confirm that everything possible is being done to give her the best chance of surviving this shocking event.”
Meanwhile, denizens of Chennai went into a panic anticipating violence and shortage of bare necessities, they crowded shops in a bid to stock up on provisions at Ramapuram and Nandambakkam, and several parts of the city. Traffic close to DLF IT Park was reportedly “worse than during the floods (last year)”. Nelson Manickam road and Shanti Colony main road also faced a choc-o-bloc situation. Petrol stations saw serpentine queues.
While the news of the health condition of CM J Jayalalithaa getting worse spread, a few stray incidents of vandalism were reported near Alaganallur in Madurai, south Tamil Nadu.
Meanwhile, in Chennai police directed all its officers to be on duty, till further notice.
Cops chased away crowds outside the hospital as angry mob pelted stones at ambulances after local TV channels flashed unconfirmed reports of Jaya’s death. Apollo hospital then released a statement, denying rumours about Jayalalithaa’s death. The AIADMK party flag which was downed to half-mast after the rumours was hoisted again inside the headquarters.