Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa passed away on December 5 after suffering from a cardiac arrest. Puratchi Thalaivi Amma was laid to rest at Chennai’s Marina beach, next to her mentor MGR.
Thousands of people gathered outside her final resting place to pay tributes. Political leaders paid their last respects before the sandalwood casket with her body was lowered into the ground with full state honours.
Jayalalithaa’s close aide Sasikala peformed the last rites and the national flag draped on the late chief minister’s coffin was presented to her.
Chief Ministers of eight states like Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal and UP’s Akhilesh Yadav, as well as, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi were among many top political leaders who attended Ms Jayalalithaa’s funeral. Thousands of supporters were also present.
PM Modi also flew in a chopper to Rajaji Hall from the Chennai airport. President Pranab Mukherjee too paid tribute to Ms Jayalalithaa. His arrival in Chennai was delayed by a technical snag in his plane.
Earlier the funeral procession started from Rajaji Hall and crawled towards Marina Beach as thousands of mourners lined the streets to pay their respects. Police teams were pressed into action for crowd control, as emotionally charged supporters shouted slogans during Jayalalithaa’s final journey.
In a huge relief to the administration, there has been no violence since the news of Jayalalithaa’s death. For lakhs whose devotion to her bordered on the religious, self-harming shows of loyalty was not uncommon.
The six-time chief minister’s mortal remains were buried in a sandalwood casket with full state honours.