CHENNAI -- High drama played out at the Poes Garden residence of late Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa here today, when her niece J Deepa was not allowed to enter it, triggering protests by her supporters.
AIADMK Amma camp sources, who were present at the residence, said Deepa made an unscheduled visit and wanted to garland a portrait of her late aunt kept in the front porch of the sprawling house. Initially, Deepa was allowed to garland the portrait after which she wanted to enter the house, which was not permitted, they said.
"Suddenly, she wanted to enter the house to which we said we don't have the authority to allow. We also pointed to her that the house was locked and asked her to leave the premises," the sources said. Incidentally, Deepa's brother Deepak was present in the house when she arrived. Deepa's supporters then staged a protest alleging that she was blocked by supporters of AIADMK Amma deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran when she tried to enter the house.
As the incident sparked a controversy, police presence was beefed up in the posh locality amidst allegations from a section of reporters that they were stopped from covering the visit of Deepa. Amid mounting tension, police allowed only the residents of the locality and their vehicles to enter the area and barred outsiders, including media persons.
The Poes Garden house was occupied by AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala, close aide of Jayalalithaa, till she surrendered in a Bengaluru court in February to serve her term in the disproportionate wealth case. There have been demands from the rival O Panneerselvam camp that the house be converted into a memorial. The front portion of the house where Jayalalithaa used to receive her supporters was thrown open to the public for some time in the aftermath of her demise last December.