Chennai: Since last evening, social media has been abuzz with rumours related to Karunanidhi’s health. Some posts on social media platforms even proclaimed him dead yesterday leading to chaos as hundreds of supporters thronged the Kauvery Hospital where the DMK patriarch is being treated.
Around 6.30 pm yesterday, Kauvery Hospital issued a bulletin on Karunanidhi’s health: ‘Maintaining his vital organ functions continues to remain a challenge considering his age-related ailments.’
Following this, rumours of shops being closed began to spread. So, yesterday, in densely populated areas like Anna Nagar and Ashok Nagar people rushed to petrol pumps to fill their vehicle tanks and grocery shops to stock up on essential items like vegetables, milk, eggs and bread.
Reports emerged that due to the sudden demand, shopkeepers sold one-litre milk at Rs 100 at a few places to capitalise on demand.
A few offices even sent back their employees home early anticipating violence breaking out in case the news is true.
Certain colleges also seem to have made their buses available to all students to return home safely, in case of riots. A few events / meetings scheduled for Tuesday are also either cancelled or postponed.
Some hoaxes shared on Monday via WhatsApp and Twitter at night even went on to proclaim that a search was on for a potential burial place for the DMK president.
While one WhatsApp message said Karunanidhi will be buried on the premises of Gandhi Mandapam at Guindy, another Twitter user posted that Duraimurugan had an urgent meeting with Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and a place was already allotted for setting up his tomb at Marina.
However, DMK leaders and allies have asked people not to believe the rumours spread by ‘irresponsible’ persons. But the people most affected by these rumours seem to be the hardcore supporters of the 94-year-old DMK supremo.
Suffering from an emotional roller-coaster of news related to their leaders health, 21 people seem to have died of shock, according to the party’s mouthpiece Murasoli.
Ever since Karunanidhi was hospitalised, Murasoli carried reports of death of the party enthusiasts due to ‘shock’ and ‘heart attacks’ over social media rumours.
Murasoli said among the 21 people dead, former Union Minister A Raja’s relative, N Nallusamy, an ardent DMK supporter, died of heart attack on 29 July after learning through social media that the DMK president was critical.
The party has appealed to cadres not to take any extreme step in view of the 94-year-old former CM’s health.
AS IT HAPPENED ON MONDAY EVENING
4.30: Rumours of severe and sudden decline in Karunanidhi’s health circulate on social media
5.00: Scores of DMK cadres throng Kauvery Hospital
6.30: Kauvery Hospital issues medical bulletin. Says that health of Karunanidhi has ‘declined’, keeping vital organs function remains a ‘challenge’ and terms ‘next 24 hours crucial’.
8.00: Supporters swell outside Kauvery Hospital. Traffic comes to standstill at TTK road, LUZ Church Road and CP Ramaswamy Road junction.
9.00: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari visits Kauvery Hospital.
10.00: Stalin leaves hospital
10.30 Kanimozhi leaves, but comes back after some time. Rajathi Ammal, Kanimozhi, A Raja stayed overnight in hospital.
8.00 am: Stalin arrives at hospital. Nearly 500 to 600 police personnel are on duty in and around hospital.