Describing as “false reports” that late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s toes and fingers were amputated, her driver Ayyappan on Thursday said that he along with Deputy Superintendent of Police Karuppasamy had tied her toes and fingers before death rituals were performed.
“I started working for her in 1991 and I know well the facts. Chinnamma (V.K. Sasikala) took care of her well till the last minute. Even my relatives used to ask me why I was continuing in the job. Chinnamma was loyal and truthful. Truth will triumph one day,” he told reporters after deposing before Justice Arumughasamy Commission of Inquiry, which is probing her hospitalisation and death.
Mr. Ayyappan, a native of Tirunelveli, said Sasikala had no role in recruiting him for the driver job. “I got the job through a travel agency,” said Mr. Ayyappan who deposed between 11.45 a.m. and 1.15 p.m.
He said that Jayalalithaa could be hospitalised only after she became unconscious. “If she had been conscious she would not have visited the hospital. She would ask the doctors to visit her,” he said recalling that poor health forced her to wind up her programmes half way through on September 21, a day before her hospitalisation.
She flagged off only four buses and inaugurated the Metro Rail through video conferencing. “After that she did not go to her chamber and told me that she was not well and wanted to go home as quickly as possible and I dropped her,” he said.
Even when her health condition deteriorated she refused to pay heed to the advice of Dr. Sivakumar and Chinnamma to visit the hospital on the ground that she had other officials function already postponed, he claimed.
Mr. Ayyappan said she was not there when she was shifted to hospital as he had left home after the duty was over.
“Suddenly I received a call about the hospitalisation and I went there to handover her belongings to her secretary Poongundran,” he said. Sasikala, former Chief Secretary Rama Mohana Rao and her personal security officer Veeraperumal were there. DGP Rajendran also visited.
Mr. Ayyappan saw her thrice during her 75-days stay in hospital. “I took her body and kept in the freezer. Since a lot of women were there, men assembled in Poes Garden left. I along with DSP Karuppasamy tied her toes and fingers for performing rituals,” he said.
Mr. Ayyappan also explained the Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and other ministers would regularly visit the hospital by 9.30 a.m. every day and would stay till lunch. “After that they would visit again and would stay till 10.30,” he said.