VK Sasikala, a former AIADMK leader and close aide of ex-CM J. Jayalalithaa, was on Wednesday (January 27) released from the Parappana Agrahara prison in Bengaluru, four years after she was convicted in a disproportionate assets case.
Sasikala is admitted at Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru where she is recovering from COVID-19. She is unlikely to be in Chennai before Jan 31, her supporters said. Her release came after the fine of over ₹10 crore was remitted.
A hospital bulletin said that Sasikala is asymptomatic for COVID-19, and is conscious, alert and well-oriented. “Her condition is stable, she is taking oral food normally and is walking with support”, it said.
Sasikala, 66, was shifted from Parappana Agrahara jail to the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital in Bengaluru on January 20. She had been lodged in Parappana jail since February 2017. She was later moved to the ICU of the Victoria Hospital after her test reported she was COVID-positive.
Sasikala’s sister-in-law J Ilavarasi, also convicted in the assets case and shared a jail cell with her, also tested positive for coronavirus and was shifted from prison to the Victoria Hospital. Sasikala’s nephew VN Sudhakaran was also convicted in the DA case.
On Monday, Sasikala’s relative and AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran tweeted that she would be released on Wednesday. He said while her COVID infection had reduced considerably, her discharge date would be decided only after proper consultation with doctors.
“We are all happy that our beloved Chinamma has been released. I want to tell you this… that’s why I have come here. Now we will discuss with doctors when she will be discharged. Today I don’t want to talk politics. After doctors’ advice, we will decide when to take her to Tamil Nadu,” said Dhinakaran.
In Chennai, Sasikala won’t be able to go to ‘Veda Nilayam’, the residence of Jayalalithaa, as the state government has taken possession of the property. ‘Veda Nilayam’ will be converted into a memorial which is likely to open to the public from January 28.
Sasikala’s release months before the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections. Sasikala is barred from contesting elections for another six years as the Representation of the People Act, which disqualifies a person convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
But her release is likely to intensify backdoor political manoeuvring.