16 die, 2 more in hospital after Jayalalitha verdict

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At least 16 people committed suicide or died of cardiac arrest across Tamil Nadu after a special court in Bangalore convicted AIADMK supremo and TN Chief Minister J Jayalalitha in the 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case on Saturday and sentenced her to four years in prison. Two people have been hospitalized with severe burns.

Police said three people hanged themselves, one AIADMK supporter committed suicide by self-immolation, one person ended his life by jumping in front of a bus and one person died after consuming poison after the court pronounced its verdict. Ten others died of cardiac arrest, apparently due to shock after Jayalalitha’s conviction, a police officer said.

Two people, including a Class 12 student, attempted self-immolation self and have been hospitalised with severe burns. Another ardent AIADMK supporter chopped off his little finger in Tirupur.

Ironically, the chief minister had in August written a letter to a woman who attempted to kill herself after a Sri Lankan government website carried a derogatory post on Jayalalitha. She urged the woman not to be overcome with emotion and asked her to understand that suicide is an act of cowardice.

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More than 16,600 people killed themselves in Tamil Nadu last year, the most cases of suicide among all states with the exception of Maharashtra. In a state where political leaders and film stars are larger than life, it is not uncommon for people to react to a setback to a leader by committing suicide, especially by self-immolation, a social scientist said.

Source: Times of India

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