Days after Income Tax sleuths raided premises linked to the family of jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala, her brother V Divakaran has said that late chief minister J Jayalalithaa did not ensure any "protection" to his sister.

Since 1996, Sasikala has always been under a cloud of "inquiry", Divakaran said in an apparent reference to a spate of corruption cases filed against Jayalalithaa and his sister, who was a close aide of the late leader, after the AIADMK lost the assembly elections that year.

"Amma (Jayalalithaa) utilised her fully, but went (died) without giving her any protection," he said without elaborating. "Just imagine, if someone from your family happened to be with a powerful leader and did all the things said by the leader, and was still pushed to an unsafe situation later, then that is the best example for all women. It is a lesson for all," he told reporters here yesterday while responding to queries on the IT raids.

Divakaran's premises were also raided by IT officials last week as part of multi-city searches of those associated with Ms Sasikala. On the recovery of pen drives and a laptop during an IT search at Jayalalithaa's Poes Garden residence on Friday, he said, "I am away from the garden for a long time." However, no such electronic gadgets were recovered from his house during the raids last week, he claimed.

Side-lined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, nephew of Divakaran, however, sought to downplay the latter's remarks on Sasikala. "He must have made those comments (on Jayalalithaa not ensuring Sasikala's protection) out of anguish," he told reporters at Thanjavur. IT sleuths had conducted searches in the office block of the Poes Garden residence of Jayalalithaa, 'Veda Nilayam', days after raids at more than 180 locations.

Following inputs, a search operation was launched in the office block and a room used by Sasikala, who is now serving a jail term in connection with the Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case.