J Jayalalithaa was on Tuesday evening laid to rest next to her mentor MGR on the Marina Beach in Chennai with full state honours. Sasikala Natarajan, the close aide of the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, performed the last rites.
Earlier, Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, former governor K Rosaiah, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and Ghulam Nabi paid floral tributes to Jayalalithaa.
A sea of weeping mourners flooded the Chennai streets on Tuesday to pay last respects to Tamil Nadu’s late beloved leader, Jayaram Jayalalithaa. Draped in her favourite green colour saree, Jayalalithaa’s body was put in a sandalwood casket and was taken to Marina beach, where she will be laid to rest.
Jayalalithaa died on Monday night following a cardiac arrest at Apollo Hospitals, Chennai. Her last rites will be performed shortly at Marina Beach, where her predecessors Anna and MGR were laid to rest.
A sea of weeping mourners surged towards the steps of a public hall where Jayalalithaa’s body, draped in the Indian flag, was kept on a raised platform.
Thousands of police officers formed chains to stop the heaving crowd from surging up the steps. Men and women wept, some breaking into loud wails. Several mourners fainted from the heat and dehydration. Police said some had been keeping vigil outside the Apollo Hospital since Sunday and then walked to Rajaji Hall at daybreak.
Draped in her favourite green colour saree, Jayalalithaa’s body was taken from her Poes Garden residence early Monday morning to Rajaji Hall where hundreds and thousands of supporters queued up to have a last glimpse of their ‘Puratchi Thalaivi Amma’ (Revolutionary Leader Amma).
Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and his ministerial colleagues, MPs and MLAs and senior state government officials were among the first to pay homage to Jayalalithaa, who passed away at the Apollo Hospitals here at 11.30 last night after waging a grim battle for life since her hospitalisation on September 22.
Her long time confidante Sasikala Natarajan is by her side. Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu also paid his last respect.
Security has been beefed up at the venue where people lined up to bid a tearful adieu to their ‘Amma’ (mother) as the 68-year-old leader was fondly called.
Cries of “Amma” rent the air as the public filed past taking a last glimpse of their beloved leader from a distance away from the stairs, where the Tamil Nadu Ministers were seen seated.
Jayalalithaa’s body was first taken to her Poes Garden residence in the early hours and then brought to the Rajaji Hall.