In the inquest into the death of Jayalalithaa, OPS, Ilavarasi questioned; deny knowing the details of the treatment

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Investigating the death of late Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa, the Arumugasamy Justice Commission on Monday interviewed former MP CM O Paneerselvam (OPS) and Sasikala’s sister-in-law Ilavarasi. Asked about his involvement, he denied any knowledge of the late CM’s treatment or why she was admitted to Apollo Hospital. Jayalalithaa died in 2016 after a long hospital stay.

OPS and Ilavarasi appear before Judge Arumugam’s Commission

“I don’t know anything. I don’t know what treatment was given to former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa at Apollo Hospital and by which team of doctors. I didn’t even know why Jayalalithaa was admitted to the hospital. I only learned about this after hearing from the chief secretary of the hospital,” OPS told the Commission.

Similarly, Ilavarasi also denied knowing the details of the late CM’s poor health. She said, “I visited the hospital every 75 days, but I only saw Jayalalithaa once or twice through a window.” The ousted AIADMK General Secretary – Sasikala – who was Jayalalithaa’s assistant was interrogated while incarcerated in Bengaluru Jail in a disproportionate assets case.

Recently, in January, the DMK government granted a further extension to Judge Arumughaswamy’s Commission to Investigate Jayalalithaa’s death. The Commission, which was due to expire on January 24, was given until June 24 for the investigation. Throughout the tenure of the AIADMK government, the Commission which was formed in September 2017, received 7 extensions.

Speculation on the death of Jayalalitha

In 2017, two months before Jayalalitha’s death, then CM, AIADMK senior leader PH Pandian alleged that Jayalalithaa collapsed after being pushed into her Poes Garden residence, resulting in hospitalization, according to the reports. Claiming that his closest confidant, VK Sasikala, allegedly administered “slow poison” in small doses or a gradual overdose “of his diabetes medicine to Jayalalitha, several AIADMK leaders had called for an inquest into the leader’s death, According to reports, Jayalalithaa died on December 5, 2016 at Apollo Hospital, Chennai due to cardiac arrest.

The Madras High Court had on April 4, 2019, dismissed Apollo Hospital’s objections to a commission of inquiry set up to investigate Jayalalithaa’s death and look into aspects of the treatment he was given. Apollo Hospitals had offered to set up a medical commission to assist the panel during the investigation. However, a Supreme Court bench headed by then-CJI Ranjan Gogoi suspended the work of the inquiry.

However, recently, the Supreme Court ordered the establishment of a medical board composed of AIIMS physicians to assist the Commission. The Commission is investigating the adequacy, effectiveness, adequacy or inadequacy of the treatment given to Jayalalithaa during his 75-day hospitalization in 2016. DMK and AIADMK have pledged a full investigation into the veteran’s death from the AIADMK.

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