Top India politician Jayalalitha jailed for corruption

Jayalalitha

One of India’s most colourful and controversial politicians, Jayaram Jayalalitha, has been jailed on corruption charges in a high-profile case which has lasted for 18 years.

The chief minister of the southern state of Tamil Nadu was found guilty of amassing wealth of more than $10m (£6.1m) which was unaccounted for.

She has to pay a multi-million dollar fine and resign as chief minister.

A former actress, her life has been marked by a series of high and lows.

The verdict was delivered by a special court in Bangalore amid tight security.

The prosecution argued that Jayalalitha and three others committed an offence against society, the Indian Express reported.

It said that supporters of AIADMK party were forcibly dispersed by police as they tried to make their way to the court.

The BBC’s Jill McGivering says that Jayalalitha is a legendary figure – a flamboyant former film star who has been central to south Indian politics for three decades.

The corruption case focused on her personal wealth and was brought by a rival political party,

Jayalalitha has always argued that it was politically motivated.

Known by her followers as Amma or Mother, she inspires intense loyalty, even adoration.

But she has been associated with a lavish lifestyle.

Her foster son’s wedding almost 20 years ago broke world records for its sheer scale – including 150,000 guests.

(BBC)

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