A sense of awe prevailed over the inmates of the Parappana Agrahara Central prison, when the high-profile convict, former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha, took a stroll around the premises early Sunday morning.
For Jayalalitha, the night was as gloomy as her political future itself. By the standards of the prisons, the arrangements inside the cell for VVIP women prisoners were quite a luxury – separate bathroom, toilet, cot, carpet, an air cooler, television set and table. Yet, these ‘luxuries’ were not enough for Amma to even take a nap, let alone a good sleep. She spent the whole night awake.
As if waiting for the day to break, Jayalalitha was the first prisoner to wake up at 5 am. She walked around the prison, ate idli brought from a relative’s house, discussed with her Cabinet colleagues about her successor, read newspapers and spent some time with close aide Sasikala and Ilavarasi.
“Three Tamil and two English papers were provided, based on her request. She ate idlis brought by her personal assistant Veera Perumal at 6 am. She refused to accept the pulav prepared at the prison. She skipped lunch and had only fruit juice,” said a source.
Four ministers led by Finance Minister O Panneerselvam met her and held discussions for about 15 minutes on the next chief minister of Tamil Nadu. They had brought a special chair as she is suffering from backache, but the prison authorities did not allow it to be taken inside as there was no permission from the court.
Late in the afternoon, Sasikala and Ilavarasi went to Jayalalitha’s cell and spent time with her till evening. They discussed reports in the media and options before them to come out of the prison.
Former chief secretary of Tamil Nadu Sheela Balakrishnan and a team of senior officers came to the prison, but were denied entry. Tamil actor Anand Raj and a host of her supporters too were not allowed inside. There was tension as they had a heated argument with the prison staff.
Jayalalitha’s close aide Sasikala, her once foster son V Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi have been kept in cells adjoining that of Jayalalitha. Sudhakaran had a health problem early Sunday morning and doctors immediately attended on him. Doctors inside the prison are attending on Jayalalitha thrice a day as she is suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes.
A few women convicts made all efforts to speak to Amma, but were prevented from doing so. Cyanide Mallika, the woman serial killer, was adamant on meeting Jayalalitha. However, she was dragged inside her cell, while Jayalalitha chose not to speak to anybody.
Respect verdict: DVS
Railway Minister D V Sadananda Gowda told reporters here that the court had found her guilty and everyone should respect the judgment.