Jaya death: health secretary in Ministers’ line of fire

Soon, a few more colleagues joined Shanmugam and demanded a CBI probe to find out whether Radhakrishnan, the health secretary for the past 7 years and an officer perceived close to Jayalalithaa, had a role in “scuttling plans” to take the now departed leader abroad.

The mystery surrounding the hospitalisation and subsequent death of the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalithaa, seems never ending.

After the V K Sasikala family, now it is the turn of Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan, a seasoned bureaucrat, to receive the wrath of the ruling AIADMK functionaries.

It all began with Law Minister C Ve Shanmugam demanding that Radhakrishnan be probed on 'why Jayalalithaa was not flown abroad for specialised treatment for her ailment.'

Soon, a few more colleagues joined Shanmugam and demanded a CBI probe to find out whether Radhakrishnan, the health secretary for the past 7 years and an officer perceived close to Jayalalithaa, had a role in “scuttling plans” to take the now departed leader abroad.

The senior bureaucrat, who was hailed for his work during the 2004 Tsunami, rubbished all allegations and maintained that there was no such plan.

Political observers feel that the ministers’ targeting Radhakrishnan was part of a larger game to insulate Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and Health Minister C Vijayabhaskar from the probe into Jayalalithaa’s death.

Radhakrishnan has already testified before the Justice A Arumughaswamy Commission, which is probing Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation and subsequent death.

But despite summons, Vijayabhaskar and Panneerselvam haven’t appeared before the commission so far.

Sources said that the two were aware of the treatment given to Jayalalithaa.

Minister targeting an officer also saw IAS officers closing ranks and demanding that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami advice his colleagues not to target bureaucrats.

The officer was part of the government team which coordinated with Apollo Hospitals in not just deciding the treatment to Jayalalithaa but also disseminating information to the general public.

Jayalalithaa, who was admitted to Apollo Hospitals on September 22, 2016 for “fever and dehydration”, died on December 5, 2016, after suffering a cardiac arrest the previous day.

Though the hospital released statements on her health, there have been many conspiracy theories surrounding Jayalalithaa’s health and the treatment given to her.

Shanmugham wanted to know why Jayalalithaa was not flown abroad for further treatment as if there were some plans to take her to a foreign nation, but doctors attending on her have made it clear that Jayalalithaa herself was against flying out of Chennai for treatment.

British intensivist Dr Richard Beale, who flew in from London twice to oversee the treatment given to Jayalalithaa, testified before the Commission that the former chief minister didn't want to fly to a foreign nation for treatment.

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Jaya death: health secretary in Ministers’ line of fire

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