On December 6, when former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa’s body was kept for public viewing, several people raised one mysterious question: What were the four dots on the AIADMK chief’s cheeks? There were several suspicions over the death of one of the most loved leaders of the state. Her silent treatment and lack of updates about her health had already raised a lot of eyebrows. This mysterious question had given some substance to those allegations and doubts.
Giving a clarification on the health and death of Jayalalithaa, Dr Richard Beale, the doctor who treated her said on Monday: “Critically ill patients can have some marks in cheeks.”
He also clarified that “it is absolutely not a normal practice to photograph people who are critically ill” adding that there was no CCTV footage of Jayalalithaa getting treated.
Prof Dr Sudha Seshaiyan of the Madras Medical College who oversaw the late chief minister’s embalming procedure also clarified that there were no marks when she carried the procedure. “I did check, there were no deep dots (on the cheek)…I cannot say why such dots appeared deep in social media (videos).”
Embalming is a usual procedure that is followed to preserve the body, especially of people whose body will be kept for public viewing to prevent the body from deteriorating. The procedure began on the midnight of December 5 and was completed within 15 minutes. As many as 5.5 litres of embalming liquid were used to preserve Jayalalithaa’s body.