A wave of violence broke out outside the Apollo Hospital in Chennai on Monday evening after a few Tamil news channels reported that Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, who is on life support after suffering a cardiac arrest on Sunday night, had passed away.
Even her party workers seemed to have been mislead by the reports as the flag at the AIADMK office in Chennai was lowered to half-mast.
However, minutes later the flag was hoisted back again.
Sources told NDTV that neurologists were keeping a close watch on Jayalalithaa's health and there were signs of response.
After the reports, Apollo Hospital said that a team of its doctors and those from AIIMS were continuously monitoring the health of chief minister and denied as "totally baseless and false" reports that she was no more.
Several news channels and newspapers had tweeted about Jayalalithaa's death which they later deleted.
ANI quoted Apollo Hospitals as saying, "Some TV channels are wrongly reporting that the Chief Minister is no more. This is totally baseless and false. They are advised to rectify this mistake based on this press release."
"The Honourable Chief Minister continues to be on life support at the Apollo Hospitals. The Apollo Specialists and Specialists from AIIMS are continually monitoring the Chief Minister very closely," the hospital further said.
Meanwhile the situation in Chennai remains tense as AIADMK workers and supporters of Jayalalithaa are on the streets waiting for news on her health.
Shops have been shut and offices too were shut earlier than usual in the anticipation of law and order problems.
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju today said the state may require extra forces, which the Home Ministry will be ready to put on standby "whenever" they are required.
The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs said the Centre cannot intervene on its own but is willing to send extra forces to Tamil Nadu if the state asks for it.
"They haven't asked anything formally," Rijiju said, adding that the state has a significant number of central forces.
"If there is a law and order situation then the Centre is always willing to send extra forces. It is our primary duty to ensure that the state is being helped in whatever possible way they require.
"Because of the prevailing health condition of the Chief Minister (Jayalalithaa) they may require extra forces which the Home Ministry will be ready to be put on standby, whenever and whatever they require," the minister said.
Chennai Police Commissioner S George has issued a memorandum to all officers to remain on duty until further order.
The Police Commissioner instructed: "All the Joint Commissioners of Police, Law and Order, to only keep essential strengths at all police stations and deploy the rest 75 percent of the force for "bandobust". The strength of each unit should be in multiples and under the supervision of an Assistant Commissioner of Police."
Meanwhile, the AIADMK leaders are holding a meeting at the party headquarters to assess ongoing developments and future action.
(with inputs from ANI and PTI)