All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader V K Sasikala was on Wednesday sent to jail after she surrendered before a trial court in Bengaluru, a day after the Supreme Court restored her conviction in the disproportionate assets case.
Sasikala turned up before special court judge Ashwathnarayana after the Supreme Court earlier in the day rejected her plea for more time to surrender.
The 60-year-old AIADMK leader, who came by road from Chennai, went straight to the court housed in the central jail at Parappana Agrahara, 28 km from Hosur on Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border.
Sasikala was imprisoned after completion of court formalities and medical check up, officials said.
She is prisoner number 9435, and has been given the job to make candles and incense sticks.
The judge also turned down her pleas for two weeks more time to surrender and for home food.
Sasikala’s relatives V N Sudhakaran and Elavarasi, whose conviction by the trial court in Bengaluru had been upheld by the Supreme Court, also surrendered.
Four cars in the cavalcade of Sasikala were damaged soon after it arrived near the court premises, police said, adding, it was not immediately known who did it.
With the Supreme Court being firm on not giving any more time, Sasikala left Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence in Chennai just before noon and headed to Bengaluru after visiting the Jayalalithaa’s memorial on Marina Beach, where she paid floral tributes to Jayalalithaa.
In dramatic gestures, an emotional Sasikala went around the burial site, muttered something and tapped on the tomb thrice as if taking a pledge, prayed and prostrated.
Sasikala also visited the Ramapuram residence of AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran where she briefly meditated before leaving for Bengaluru.
The AIADMK leader, who was locked in a bitter tussle with AIADMK’s O Panneerselvam for Tamil Nadu’s chief ministership, took the inevitable journey to Bengaluru after the Supreme Court refused to give her further time to surrender.
“Only I can be jailed, not the care or concern I have for this party. Wherever I will be, my thoughts will be here,” Sasikala had told both her MLAs at Koovathur resort as well as to her supporters later at Poes Garden late Tuesday night.
She said she would be thinking about the party round the clock and that “no force can wean away” the party from her.
The Apex court had earlier in the day refused to entertain her plea, seeking more time to surrender to undergo jail term in the DA case.
“We do not intend to pass any order on this. We are not going to change anything in the judgement,” a bench headed by Justice P C Ghose said.
The bench had on Tuesday convicted her and two others in the DA case.
During the brief hearing on Wednesday, the bench said that the word “immediately” has been used in the judgement with regard to the surrender of the convict.
“I hope you (Tulsi) understand the meaning of the word ‘immediately’,” Justice Ghose said.
Senior advocate KTS Tulsi, appearing for Sasikala, said that the leader wanted some time to surrender as she has to manage her affairs.
He was seeking urgent hearing of the application on Wednesday itself.
The bench instead of listing the plea, made clear to the lawyer that it would not consider the plea.
Before leaving the Poes Garden residence of Jayalalithaa, where Sasikala continued to stay after the former’s demise last December, she was greeted by slogan-shouting supporters who hailed their ‘Chinnamma’ (next after Jayalalithaa who was addressed as Amma, meaning mother).
At the Jayalalithaa memorial, Sasikala made her way through the crowd of supporters that included a sobbing former Minister Gokula Indira and Deputy General Secretary and her nephew T T V Dinakaran, and put up a brave face. She was seen with folded hands before making an emphatic vow. She also paid floral tributes at the memorial before going around it ahead of her onward journey.
Sasikala also visited the Ramapuram residence of AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran and briefly meditated before his portrait inside the house.
She also paid homage to a life size statue of the former matinee idol at the residence, which she had unveiled recently. Some women there also peformed ‘aarti’ for Sasikala.
Photograph: R Senthil Kumar/PTI Photo