Karnataka bids tearful adieu to superstar Puneeth Rajkumar
Puneeth Rajkumar's wife Ashiwini Revanth and daughters Vanditha Rajkumar and Drithi Rajkumar grieving by the body of the late actor, at Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru on October 30, 2021.Dhananjay Yadav/IANS

Karnataka bids tearful adieu to superstar Puneeth Rajkumar

Bengaluru, October 31, 2021

Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar was laid to rest at Kanteerava Studio in the presence of his family members, friends and leaders of all political parties in Bengaluru on Sunday.

The final rites were conducted as per the traditions of the Ediga community of the Hindu religion in the presence of his family and friends.

His mortal remains were brought from Kanteerava Stadium in a procession, which began around 5 a.m. to Kanteerava Studio. Fans gathered on either side of road on the way for a last glimpse of the actor. As many as 10 lakh people paid their homage to the young superstar.

Puneeth, the son of Kannada film legend Rajkumar, passed away on Friday (October 29) after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Before the burial, the government of Karnataka accorded him honours according to protocol. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai handed over the tricolour flag, which draped the mortal remains of the actor to his wife Ashwini and two daughters.

Opposition leaders D. K. Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah, Cabinet ministers and bigwigs of the Kannada film industry attended the function held early in the morning on Sunday.

Family members performed the last rites as Puneeth's mortal remains, were placed in a decorated palanquin before the burial.

Public viewing of the body was allowed throughout the night to enable thousands of fans, who came from all parts of the state and even outside, to pay their last respects.

Among others, bigwigs of Telugu film industry, Chiranjeevi, Nandamuri Balakrishna, Junior NTR, Venkatesh and Srikanth came down to Bengaluru to pay their last homage to Puneeth Rajkumar.

Prabhudeva and Sharath Kumar from Tamil film industry came to pay their last respects.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted their condolence messages over the untimely death of Puneeth. Prime Minister Modi had put up a picture of Puneeth's family with him in his message.

Puneeth's body was laid to rest beside the grave of his father. His mother Parvathamma was also laid to rest in the same premises.

Puneeth had pledged his eyes for donation. Dr Bhujanga Shetty, Director Narayana Nethralaya, who collected the eyes of Puneeth remembered the commitment of the family as he promptly received a call from Puneet's elder brother Raghavendra Rajkumar to collect eyes for donation.

Puneeth Rajkumar had donated Rs 50 lakh to government of Karnataka during the Covid crisis. Puneeth was supporting 16 old-age homes and 19 goshalas. Thousands of girl students were supported through the "Shakthidhama" organisation but the actor never spoke about his philanthropic activities.

Puneeth had entered the film industry as a toddler. He acted in 13 films as a child artiste. As a child artiste he won the National award for his role in Bettada Hoovu movie in 1985. He won best child artiste award for his acting in Chalisuva Modagalu and Eradu Kanasu movies.

He made his debut as a full-fledged hero with Appu movie in 2002. Since then, he acted in 29 movies. His latest release was Yuvaratnaa which hit the theatres in April this year. His last movie is James. His documentary made by film maker Amoghavarsha of Wild Karnataka fame shot underwater was all set to release on November 1.

He won two state awards for best actor and five Filmfare awards. He started the production house Puneeth Rajkumar Films in 2019 and produced movies of Danish Sait and others. He was a successful television presenter for the Kannada version of Kaun Banega Crorepati.

Puneeth, fondly called as Appu, was christened as Power Star by fans. Puneeth made it a point to spend one whole month with his family. He used to sing and dance on the special occasions of his family. The film industry which bounced back after Covid lockdown has suddenly come under a pall of gloom with the demise of one of its superstars.

IANS

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