6 December 2016

Thousands mourn beloved leader Jayalalithaa in south India

Hundreds of thousands of people thronged the southern Indian city of Chennai on Tuesday to honor their late beloved leader, Jayaram Jayalalithaa, a former film actress and popular politician.

Jayalalithaa, chief minister of Tamil Nadu state, died overnight following a heart attack a day earlier.

Indian actress-turned-politician Jayaram Jayalalithaa dies

Supporters of Indian southern state of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa hold her photograph as they pray for her health at a temple in Mumbai, India, Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. Thousands of Jayalalitha supporters and well wishers across India prayed for her speedy recovery after she was readmitted to the hospital in Cheanni following a cardiac arrest on Sunday evening.
Jayaram Jayalalithaa, the hugely popular south Indian actress who later turned to politics and became the highest elected official in the state of Tamil Nadu, died Monday. She was 68.

The Apollo Hospital in the southern Indian city of Chennai said Jayalalithaa died at 11:30 p.m. local time Monday after undergoing surgery following a heart attack on Sunday night.

Known by her followers as "Amma," which means "Mother" in the Tamil language, Jayalalithaa inspired intense loyalty among film fans and political supporters alike.