Didn’t get to see Jayalalithaa in hospital: ex-top cop

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Former police commissioner of Chennai S George had arrived at the Apollo Hospital’s flagship unit in the city on being informed that J Jayalalithaa was being taken to the hospital on September 22, 2016, but he had not been able to see her that night, he told the probe commission investigating the death of the former chief minister. He also submitted that he visited the hospital “every day”, but was unable to catch sight of the AIADMK leader.

The judicial commission, headed by retired Madras High Court judge A Arumughasamy, has documented evidences and statements of more than 50 people with some knowledge of the circumstances that led to the death of Jayalalithaa. George is among the few in the administrative fraternity who may have direct knowledge of the sequence of events on the evening Jayalalithaa was brought to the hospital.

Questioned specifically as to why Deepa Jayakumar, niece of Jayalalithaa, was refused entry into the hospital, George said he had not investigated into the matter, said sources aware of the proceedings in the commission on Wednesday.

N Raja Senthoor Pandian, counsel for Jayalalithaa’s aide VK Sasikala, said the statements of George did not call into question the submissions of his client through an affidavit she had filed in March. Sasikala, in her affidavit, said that a battery of top government officials and police officers was present outside the emergency ward of the hospital. However, George was not mentioned as one of them.

When contacted, George refused to answer queries on his statements with the commission. ET had reported on certain discrepancies between Sasikala’s version of events and that of KS Sivakumar, her relative and Jayalalithaa’s medical coordinator.

Three important witnesses — Jayalalithaa’s personal security officer, former member secretary of the state organ registry P Balaji and former chief secretary Rama Mohana Rao — altered their statements after their initial submissions with the commission.

George has been perceived to have gained the trust of the former chief minister. He was involved in the midnight arrest of DMK leader M Karunanidhi in June 2001. His closeness to Jayalalithaa, according to people who have tracked his career, was among the reasons he was shunted during the regimes of the DMK. He was the city police chief when the protests over bulltaming sport Jallikattu broke out in Chennai. He retired from services in September last year.

Source: Economic Times