India Jayalalitha: Thousands mourn colourful politician
By BBC News India
Thousands of mourners are flocking to pay their respects to J Jayalalitha, one of India’s most influential and colourful politicians.
The 68-year-old chief minister of Tamil Nadu state suffered a heart attack on Sunday night and died at 23:30 local time (18:00 GMT) on Monday, Chennai’s Apollo Hospital says.
Her body, draped in the Indian flag, is on display at a large public hall.
Extra police have been deployed in the southern state amid fears of unrest.
The extreme devotion she inspires among her supporters, many of whom refer to her as “Amma” (mother) have led to concerns that they could resort to self-harm or violence.
Earlier reports of her death, which were swiftly withdrawn, prompted scuffles between police and her supporters outside the private hospital.
However, lines have been orderly so far, despite the visible emotion among the crowds who are queuing up to catch a final glimpse of Jayalalitha. Many are openly weeping while some are beating their heads and chests.