Clothed in her favourite green colour saree, Jayalalithaa’s body will be taken to Marina beach.
Chennai: Hundreds of thousands of people jammed to Chennai on Tuesday to honour the Tamil Nadu’s late beloved leader, Jayaram Jayalalithaa. Draped in her favourite green colour saree, Jayalalithaa’s body was put in the sandalwood casket and was taken to Marina beach, where she will be buried.
Jayalalithaa died overnight the following a heart attack a day earlier in Apollo Hospitals. Top leaders of the country, including the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had flown to Chennai on Monday to pay the last respects to the four-time chief minister.
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The ‘puratchi thalaivi’ will be buried at the MGR memorial, which also is home to the mortal remains of her mentor and the AIADMK founder M. G. Ramachandran.
Though Ms. Jayalalithaa was a Brahmin and the rituals followed by the community say their mortal remains must be burned, a decision was taken to bury her body.
“One reason was MGR was also buried and not burned and the another being since a memorial is planned, it was thought that we would cremate her body,” a source in the AIADMK said.
Before being moved to a Marina beach, Jayalalithaa’s body draped in the Indian flag, was kept on a raised the platform at Rajaji Hall in Chennai and a sea of weeping mourners had gathered around it.
Thousands of police officers formed a chain to stop the heaving crowd from surging up the steps. Men and women dripped, some breaking into loud screams. Several mourners fainted from the heat and the dehydration. Police said some had been keeping vigil outside the Apollo Hospital since Sunday and then walked to the Rajaji Hall at daybreak.
Jayalalithaa’s body was taken from her Poes Garden residence early Monday morning to the 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, MLAs and the 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 the life since her hospitalization on September 22.
Security had been bellyached up at the venue where people lined up to a bid a tearful goodbye to their ‘Amma’ (mother) as the 68-year-old leader was fondly called.
Cries of “Amma” rent the air as the public filed the past taking a last glimpse of their beloved leader from the distance away from the stairs, where the Tamil Nadu Ministers were seated.
Jayalalithaa’s body was first taken to her Poes Garden residence in early hours and then brought to the Rajaji Hall.