High drama played out at the Poes Garden residence of late Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa here on Sunday when her niece Deepa Jayakumar was barred from entering the house, triggering protests by her supporters.
Deepa arrived with her husband Madhavan around 10 am and staked claim to Jaya's Poes Garden residence but was stopped by security guards from entering into the house.
According to Deepa, she was denied entry by people working on behalf of VK Sasikala’s nephew and AIADMK Amma Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran.
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, who founded the MGR Amma Deepa Peravai political front, claimed that her brother had called her to the property. She even claimed that her sibling should be 'punished' for 'killing' Jayalalithaa.
"I was stopped from entering the house. We are being humiliated. It looks like that Deepak Jayakumar has cheated us by joining Sasikala camp," Deepa, who had maintained a low profile since the cancellation of the RK Nagar bypoll in April, was quoted as saying by ANI.
"He (Deepak) is culpable like Sasikala. He killed Amma along with her (Sasikala). They did it for the money," she said.
Deepa's supporters then staged a protest alleging that she was blocked by supporters of 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 mediapersons.
The Poes Garden house was occupied by AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala, close aide of Jayalalithaa, till she surrendered at a Bengaluru court in February earlier this year 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 in December last.
(With PTI inputs)