The mystery around the death of former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa is seemingly getting uncovered after the revelations of what happened inside a strong-guarded door and what led to her demise. As per the current revelations, all fingers are pointing at Jayalalithaa's former aide VK Sasikala, who is now chalking out her political comeback.
Jayalalithaa was admitted to Apollo Hospitals in Chennai in September 2016 and she was hospitalized for 75 days. In the midst of the claims made by the ADMK leaders that she is recovering and will get discharged soon, she breathed her last in the first week of December 2016 and her death sparked a statewide furore and political revolt. As Jayalalithaa was surrounded by Sasikala and her family, her demise was surrounded by a mystery and a sense of suspicion grew across the state.
In 2017, the then-ruling ADMK regime formed a commission to inquire about the death of Jayalalithaa and it was formed when Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami agitated against Sasikala. The commission was led by the former Madras High Court judge Justice Arumugasamy. The commission had subpoenaed the government officials, hospital staff, and ADMK leaders and questioned them regarding Jayalalithaa's health condition and the treatment provided to her.
After episodes of extension to its validity, the Arumugasamy commission has recently submitted its inquiry report to the MK Stalin-led DMK government in which the commission recommended taking action against VK Sasikala, her relative Dr Sivakumar, the former health minister C Vijayabaskar, and Apollo Hospital. Weeks after the report was submitted, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin had decided to table the commission's report in the assembly as mandated by the law that such commission reports must be presented in the assembly in six months.
After the cabinet nod, Chief Minister MK Stalin submitted the report in the ongoing assembly session on Tuesday - October 18 and the report was in a shocking fashion as it revealed that Jayalalithaa could have been saved had there been no hassle in her medical treatment. Having said that, the commission's report indicates that there were several hassles and hindrances to Jayalalithaa's medical treatment that were mainly caused by VK Sasikala.
The report has observed that four people were responsible for Jayalalithaa's death and they are - VK Sasikala, Sivakumar (her relative), the then-health minister C Vijayabaskar and the then-health secretary J Radhakrishnan. The commission has recommended the government launch a probe against them. Shockingly, the report said that several fake announcements were made that Jayalalithaa will get discharged soon.
Jayalalithaa was treated by a team of doctors from Apollo and Dr Richard Beale, a London-based physician, was also a part of the treatment. A team of doctors from AIIMS Delhi had also visited Jayalalithaa and till her death, the hospital maintained that Jayalalithaa was doing fine and that she would decide when she would go home. Speaking to the thousands of people gathered before the hospital, every ADMK leader echoed the same statement that she was getting recovered.
During her hospitalization, she was under the care of VK Sasikala and her family members. In its final report, the commission noted that Dr Beale had recommended doing an angiogram for Jayalalithaa. However, such a procedure wasn't done till Jayalalithaa's death as Sasikala didn't let the medical team proceed with a life-saving procedure. The commission further noted that there was no credible information given about Jayalalithaa's health condition and her line of treatments. The commission's report said that the events that happened after Jayalalithaa lost her consciousness were kept classified.
Importantly, the report revealed that there was no mutual respect and understanding between Jayalalithaa and Sasikala after Sasikala was reinstated to the ADMK in 2012 after getting suspended. Furthermore, the commission has underlined that although a medical team from AIIMS, Delhi visited Jayalalithaa five times during her hospitalization, she was not provided with proper medical treatment and a US-based doctor Sameen Sharma recommended performing heart surgery for Jayalalithaa.
However, no such surgery was carried out as it cited that it was blocked by VK Sasikala. The report noted that there is no possibility of arriving at a final decision than accusing Sasikala of causing various hindrances in treating Jayalalithaa. The commission's report highlighted that there were several contradictions in the statements concerned about Jayalalithaa's medical treatment.
While it was announced that Jayalalithaa was passed away on December 5, 2016, at 11.30 pm the commission pressed that based on the confessions from the witnesses, there has been an irony in the date and time of her death and said that Jayalalithaa has died between 3 pm to 3.30 pm on December 4, 2016. The Commission has also underlined a question of why several perks and facilities were provided for the AIIMS doctors who came to treat Jayalalithaa.
In its 613-page report, the Arumugasamy commission said that the then-health secretary J Radhakrishnan has provided accommodation for the AIIMS doctors at elite hotels instead of accommodating them in the government guest houses. Several other facilities including high-class flight tickets were provided for them. On the front of Jayalalithaa treatments, the report said that the hospital has acquired permission from VK Sasikala and she was briefed about the treatments.
As both the parties jointly knew what happened to Jayalalithaa, the commission has accused Sasikala and Apollo Hospitals of being the reason behind her death. Shockingly, the commission said that several life-saving treatments weren't provided to Jayalalithaa and they waited in a fashion when she would suffer a cardiac arrest. Several medical recommendations weren't followed and Radhakrishnan was accused of curbing the talks of taking Jayalalithaa abroad for medical treatments.
While Jayalalithaa could have been saved if the heart surgery was done, it was not actually performed, which has become a major allegation against VK Sasikala as to why the surgery was blocked under her knowledge and whether she intentionally stopped higher treatments to whom she fondly called 'elder sister'. The commission further noted that ADMK leader O Panneerselvam knew about the medical treatments and he revolted against the party after he was made to step down from the post of Chief Minister.