Jayalalithaa’s birth anniversary quiet day for Sasikala in jail

Bengaluru, Feb 24 (IANS) The 69th birth anniversary of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Friday was a quiet day for her long-time confidante and AIADMK General Secretary V.K. Sasikala, housed in the Central Jail on the city’s outskirts.

“Nothing special for Sasikala or other inmates. It was a like any other day for her. She spent the day as per the routine followed by all inmates. Being a holiday, outsiders were not allowed to meet inmates,” Jail Superintendent Krishna Kumar told IANS.

Sasikala, 59, is serving a four-year sentence upheld by the Supreme Court after she was held guilty of corruption in a two-decade-old wealth case.

A trial court had first held her guilty in September 2014 in Bengaluru.

“It was a normal day for Sasikala. She followed the routine. She would have celebrated Jayalalithaa’s birth anniversary silently in her own way in the cell,” observed Kumar.

Sasikala and her co-convict sister-in-law Elavarasi and nephew V.K. Sudhakaran returned to the jail on February 15 after the Supreme Court refused to give them more time to surrender.

Sasikala and Elavarasi are lodged in adjacent cells in the women’s barracks of the high-security jail in the Parapanna Agrahara area.

“Sasikala woke up early, got ready and offered prayers. She also watered the sacred tulasi plant in the barracks, paid obeisance to Jayalalithaa and placed flowers at her photo in her cell. Elavarasi joined in celebrating ‘Amma’ birth anniversary,” a jail official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Though Sasikala is the General Secretary of the ruling party in the neighbouring state (Tamil Nadu), she is being treated like other ordinary inmates or convicts.

“Sasikala may be a leader of a political party in her state. But for us, she is not a high-profile inmate. In fact, she is maintaining a low-profile in the prison,” added the official but declined to be named as he is not authorised to speak to media.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E.P. Palaniswami and some cabinet ministers are likely to call on Sasikala next week after getting permission from the jail authorities.