Late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa's close aide, V.K. Sasikala who completed four year prison term for corruption has been formally released on Wednesday. Having tested Covid positive on January 20, she may have to continue her treatment in a Bengaluru hospital.
The central jail authorities wore Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits and completed the formalities at the hospital where she is presently undergoing treatment for Covid infection. Her sister-in-law, J. Ilavaris too was admitted in the same hospital on January 22.
Parappana Agarahara Central Prison chief Superintendent V. S. Murthy stated that woman prison inmate number 9234 - Sasikala Natarajan, completed her prison term on January 27 and she has been released as per the court's order.
The health bulletin issued by the Victoria Hospital at 11.30 a.m. on Wednesday, stated that Sasikala has been freed as per an official order at 11 a.m. on January 27.
Sasikala will continue to be at Victoria Hospital for the next four to five days
Sasikala will continue to be at Victoria Hospital for the next four to five days, the hospital's medical superintendent said. The bulletin added that according to the Covid protocols, the patients can be discharged 10 days after testing if they are asymptomatic.
"They also need to have been without the need for oxygen for three days and Sasikala has maintained oxygen saturation of 96/97 without oxygen for the past 12 hours," the bulletin explained. A huge crowd of her supporters lined up outside Victoria Hospital, raising slogans in her favour and distributed sweets in celebration.
She was rushed to the government's Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital on January 20 from the prison hospital, after falling ill there and had been transferred to Victoria Hospital the following day, where she tested Covid positive.
The 63-year-old leader was reportedly unwell in her prison cell for about a week before being admitted to Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital by the prison doctors with a diagnosis of type II diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hypothyroidism, urinary tract infection (UTI) and suspected Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI).
Her release comes on a day when Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami inaugurates a Rs 79 crore memorial to J. Jayalalithaa along Chennai's Marina Beach.
Sasikala served her four-year prison term in a disproportionate assets case since February 15, 2017. The case pertains to amassing disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 66.65 crore during J. Jayalalithaa's tenure as chief minister of Tamil Nadu from 1991-1996.
(With inputs from wires)