Tension prevailed outside the Poes Garden residence of late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa here yesterday as her niece J Deepa was prevented from entering the building by supporters of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam deputy general secretary T T V Dinakaran.
She alleged that “goons” at the late AIADMK leader’s residence beat up her and her security guards.
A cameraperson of an English news channel, who had accompanied her, was assaulted too.
Deepa, who recently floated her own party, told reporters that she had gone to Jayalalithaa’s house at the invitation of her brother J Deepak.
She accused her brother as well as Jayalalithaa’s close associate V K Sasikala, now general secretary of an AIADMK faction, of having conspired to kill her aunt.
“I would not even have come here had he not repeatedly insisted. This is a conspiracy by Deepak, acting on behalf of Sasikala,’’ she said.
“Jayalalithaa was like a mother to him, but for the sake of money, he turned against her and killed her,” she said.
Deepa’s husband Madhavan also made an appearance and the couple claimed there was a threat to their lives from what they called “musclemen” employed by Sasikala.
Deepa said she would approach courts to claim her rights over Jayalalithaa’s residence, where Sasikala, now in jail, continued to live after Jayalalithaa’s death on December 5 last year.
Deepa said she has sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi to explain the situation to him.
After Jayalalithaa’s death, Deepa had floated her own party MGR Amma Deepa Peravai in February. She also claims to be the legal heir of the property that belonged to the former chief minister. The two were estranged when Jayalalithaa was alive. It was only when her aunt was in hospital that Deepa made an appearance and said she wanted to meet Jayalalithaa, but was not allowed to do so.
AIADMK Amma camp sources, who were present at the residence, said Deepa made an unscheduled visit and wanted to garland a portrait of her late aunt kept in the front porch of the sprawling house.
Initially, Deepa was allowed to garland the portrait after which she wanted to enter the house, which was not permitted, they said.
“Suddenly, she wanted to enter the house to which we said we don’t have the authority. We also pointed to her that the house was locked and asked her to leave,” the sources said.
As the incident sparked a controversy, police presence was beefed up in the posh locality amid allegations from a section of reporters that they were stopped from covering the visit of Deepa.
Amid mounting tension, police allowed only the residents of the locality and their vehicles to enter the area and barred outsiders, including journalists.
Poes Garden was a property inherited by Jayalalithaa from her mother Sandhya. There has been no news so far of any will that she left. After her death, her live-in aide Sasikala had continued to live at Poes Garden, till her arrest in February.
Sasikala is in jail after the Supreme Court upheld her conviction in the disproportionate wealth case. There have been demands from the rival O Panneerselvam camp that the house be converted into a memorial.
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