Thousands of grief-stricken people are mourning the loss of their beloved leader, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who passed away last night at the age of 68. A six-time chief minister, the charismatic Jayalalithaa enjoyed a god-like status in the state, thanks to her populist pro-poor policies as an administrator and successful film career.
The mortal remains of the AIADMK supremo were placed at the Chennai's Rajaji Hall for the public to pay their respects before her funeral.
Yesterday, hours before her death was officially announced, unverified news reports of her passing away caused confusion and violent scuffles outside the Chennai's Apollo Hospital, where she had been undergoing medical treatment. The situation abated for some time, after the hospital clarified that these were just rumours, but that her situation was still very critical.
Here are some pictures that capture how shattered Jayalalithaa's supporters are.
Jayalalithaa's death was officially announced late last night, with the leader passing away at 11.30 pm. Hundreds of party workers stood outside the roads of Chennai's Apollo Hospital last night, as the leader's mortal remains were taken to her residence in Poes Garden in an ambulance.
Today morning, her body was brought to Chennai's Rajaji Hall for public homage, with the national tricolour draped over the casket.. Thousands of mourners and political leaders have been lining up at Rajaji Hall to get their last glimpse of their beloved Amma. The funeral will take place at 4.30 pm at the Dr MGR Memorial at the city's Marina Beach.