Updated: October 19, 2014 2:37:10 am
The AIADMK chief and former chief minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa was on Saturday released from Bangalore jail after 21 days, a day after Supreme Court granted her bail in an 18-year-old disproportionate assets case. She arrived in Chennai with a grand homecoming as scores of avid supporters turned up to welcome her.
At Chennai, where security was stepped up ahead of Jayalalithaa’s arrival, slogan-shouting men and women AIADMK supporters thronged the airport as well as Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence, hailing their ‘Puratchi Thalaivi’ (Revolutionary Leader).
In Bangalore, the AIADMK leader waited for an auspicious moment to leave the prison after the trial court ordered her release from prison following the furnishing of two sureties as ordered by the Supreme Court on Friday.
Thousands of supporters of the AIADMK leader who gathered around the Central Prison in Bangalore on Saturday awaiting the release of the former chief minister. They greeted her exit from prison by shouting “long live Amma” and dancing.
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Jayalalithaa’s Z category security was restored on her stepping out of the portals of the prison and she was escorted out to her waiting car by her security team before being driven off to the special purpose HAL airport located 25 km away. She briefly smiled and waved at AIADMK supporters who had lined up the 500 metre path leading from the prison gate to the main road exiting the prison area. She gave television cameras a bemused stare on her way out.
Although the Jayalalithaa’s release from the Special Court reached the prison at around 2.45 pm she waited till the end of the inauspicious period of Yamagandam at around 3.15 pm to step out of the prison, jail officials said.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Pannerselvam, a number of ministers, MPs, former MPs and party leaders welcomed her on her exit from the jail.
“Amma has not been part of a huge corruption scandal like the 2G scam or Commonwealth scam. She did not commit a big offense. She will come out clean in the future,” a former Rajya Sabha MP Govind Rajar said. Jayalalithaa’s associates Sasikala and her relatives Sudhakaran and Elavarasi who were also convicted in the Rs 53.50 crore corruption scam on September 27 were released from jail on bail on Saturday following the Supreme Court directive.
The Special Court in Bangalore on Saturday issued the order for release of AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa from jail here in accordance with the Supreme Court order granting her bail in the disproportionate assets case.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Pannerselvam, several ministers, MPs and legislators were in attendance to receive her near the prison after which she headed to HAL airport to fly back to Chennai by a special flight.
On Friday, Jayalalithaa got a major relief when the Supreme Court granted her conditional bail and suspended the sentence of four years simple imprisonment given by the trial court in Bangalore in the 18-year old illegal assets case.
Earlier, the release order by the Special Court came after a bond for Rs two crore and surety on assets for more than Rs one crore was furnished for Jayalalitha. Copy of the Supreme Court order was also produced by her lawyers.
Jayalalithaa’s close aide Sasikala and her relatives Sudhakaran and Elavarasi, who also fufilled similar conditions, also walked out of jail.
AIADMK supporters carrying Jayalalithaa’s photos and holding flowers broke into celebrations as her motorcade passed through the heavily guarded route from the prison.
Hundreds of policeman, including city armed reserve, were posted in and around the prison, with authorities clamping prohibitory orders anticipating huge flow of AIADMK supporters.
With the AIADMK chief enjoying “Z” Plus category, police had stepped up security supervised by senior officials and barricaded areas in and around the prison complex and blocked access one km away on the road leading to the prison.
Pannerselvam and his entourage had reached Bangalore in the morning.
At the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border point on Hosur also, police and city armed reserve kept a close vigil and regulated movement of vehicles from the neighbouring state into the city. The jail is located about 20 kms from the Hosur point.
(With Inputs from PTI)
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