Thousands of Indians are flocking to pay their respects to Jayaram Jayalalitha, one of the country’s most influential and colorful politicians.
J Jayalalitha, the chief minister of the southern state of Tamil Nadu suffered a heart attack on December 4 and died at 23:30 local time on December 5 at the age of 68, Chennai’s Apollo Hospital says.
The politician’s body, draped in the Indian flag, is on display at a large public hall.
India’s PM Narendra Modi was among those who visited to pay tribute.
Extra police have been deployed in the state amid fears of unrest.
The extreme devotion J Jayalalitha inspires among her supporters, many of whom refer to her as “Amma” (mother) have led to concerns that they could resort to self-harm or violence.
Earlier reports of J Jayalalitha’s death, which were swiftly withdrawn, prompted scuffles between police and her supporters outside the private hospital.
However, lines have been orderly so far, despite the visible emotion among the crowds who are queuing up to catch a final glimpse of Jayalalitha. Many are openly weeping while some are beating their heads and chests.
A seven-day period of mourning has been declared in Tamil Nadu. The central government in Delhi has announced that December 6 will be a national holiday as a mark of respect and that J Jayalalitha will be given a funeral with full state honors.
She had been receiving treatment for months.
J Jayalalitha is revered by many but was seen by her critics as having created a cult of personality over the years.
Tributes began to pour in for J Jayalalitha as soon as her death was confirmed by Apollo, which had been treating her since September 22.
Her AIADMK party – which had earlier lowered the flag to half-mast before hoisting it up once more – also confirmed she had died, tweeting “our beloved leader, the Iron lady of India… Amma, is no more”.
“RIP Jayalalitha” has been trending on Twitter, while Facebook is also filled with elegies for a woman who is widely respected for managing to hold her own in the male-dominated world of Tamil Nadu politics.
A senior AIADMK politician, O Panneerselvam, was sworn in as chief of Tamil Nadu within hours of J Jayalalitha’s death, the party’s Twitter account confirmed.
Former Indian actress Jayaram Jayalalitha is set to return as the chief minister of the southern state of Tamil Nadu after the state governor invited her to form a new ministry.
Jayaram Jayalalitha’s conviction in a corruption scandal in 2014 had cut short her fourth term as the chief minister, but earlier this month, an appeals court cleared her.
Her replacement O Panneerselvam quit on May 22, paving the way for her return.
Jayaram Jayalalitha is one of India’s most colorful politicians and she has been a leading figure in south Indian politics for three decades.
She was convicted and sentenced for four years by a trial court last September.
Jayaram Jayalalitha was found guilty of amassing unaccounted-for wealth of more than $10 million and had to quit as the chief minister.
The appeals court ruling earlier this month paved the way for her returning as the head of Tamil Nadu government.
On May 22, Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah’s office said in a statement that O Panneerselvam, party leader and loyalist who was heading the government in her absence, resigned along with his cabinet ministers.
The governor accepted the resignations and invited Jayaram Jayalalitha to form a government “at the earliest”, the statement added.
Earlier, legislators belonging to her regional AIADMK party met and elected Jayaram Jayalalitha as the leader of the legislature party.
According to local reports, Jayram Jayalalitha will make her first public appearance later during the day, and then form her government.
Imprisoned Indian politician Jayaram Jayalalitha has been granted bail by the country’s Supreme Court.
Former chief minister of the southern state of Tamil Nadu Jayaram Jayalalitha was jailed last month for four years on corruption charges.
In a case that lasted 18 years, she was found guilty of amassing unaccounted-for wealth of more than $10 million.
Supporters wept on the streets when a court rejected an earlier bail plea.
Granting bail on October 17, India’s top court directed her to “complete all paperwork” relating to the appeal against her conviction within two months in the Karnataka high court.
Jayaram Jayalalitha was jailed last month for four years on corruption charges (photo AP)
Lawyers for Jayaram Jayalalitha, 66, had argued that she should be given bail because she is unwell and appealing against her conviction in a higher court.
However, the court warned Jayaram Jayalalitha it would not give her “a day more” if she failed to complete the procedures.
The Supreme Court also asked the former chief minister to ensure her party workers remained peaceful.
Her supporters’ protests against last month’s conviction meant they had to be forcibly dispersed by police.
The Karnataka court has sentenced Jayaram Jayalalitha and three other accused to four years in prison each, with Jayalalitha also facing a 1bn rupee fine ($16 million). The others have been ordered to pay a fine of about $1.6 million each.
Indian politician Jayaram Jayalalitha has been found guilty of corruption charges in a high-profile case which has lasted for 18 years.
The chief minister of the southern state of Tamil Nadu and one of India’s most colorful and controversial politicians was found guilty of amassing wealth of more than $10 million which was unaccounted for.
Analysts say Jayaram Jayalalitha will now have to resign as chief minister.
A former actress, her life has been marked by a series of high and lows.
The verdict was delivered by a special court in Bangalore amid tight security.
Jayaram Jayalalitha has been found guilty of corruption charges in a high-profile case which has lasted for 18 years
The prosecution argued that Jayaram Jayalalitha and three others committed an offence against society, the Indian Express reported.
It said that supporters of AIADMK party were forcibly dispersed by police as they tried to make their way to the court.
The corruption case focused on Jayaram Jayalalitha’s personal wealth and was brought by a rival political party,
Jayaram Jayalalitha has always argued that it was politically motivated.
Known by her followers as Amma or Mother, Jayaram Jayalalitha inspires intense loyalty, even adoration.
However, she has been associated with a lavish lifestyle.
Jayaram Jayalalitha’s foster son’s wedding almost 20 years ago broke world records for its sheer scale – including 150,000 guests.