Wednesday, February 21, 2018 06:14:52 PM

Mass grief as India political star Jayalalithaa buried

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jayalalithaa2CHENNAI: Hundreds of thousands of mourners paid an emotional final farewell Tuesday to Indian politician Jayalalithaa Jayaram as the former movie star who enjoyed god-like status was buried alongside her on-screen lover.

A day after the 68-year-old died following a massive weekend cardiac arrest, huge crowds lined the streets of Chennai as Jayalalithaa’s coffin was taken to its final resting place in India’s main southern city.

Mourners showered the glass coffin with flowers and clambered onto statues, trees and soft drinks stalls that lined the city’s Marina beach to view the cortege. Television put the number of mourners at around one million.

Despite being twice jailed over allegations of corruption, the woman known simply as Amma, or mother, was a revered figure in her fiefdom of Tamil Nadu state and one of India’s most popular and successful politicians as a populist champion of the poor.

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew to Chennai to pay his respects, streams of her supporters lined up outside a hall in the city centre where her casket was on display, many wearing scarves with the red, white and black colours of her party….

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