Thousands of grieving fans continue to flock the city’s Kanteerava stadium on Saturday to pay their final respects to Kannada film star Puneeth Rajkumar, whose last rites is likely to be performed this evening.
Considered as the Kannada cinema’s reigning star, Puneeth, youngest of the five children of thespian and matinee idol Dr Rajkumar passed away at the age of 46, after suffering a cardiac arrest on Friday.
Following in the footsteps of his father Rajkumar, the family has donated Puneeth’s eyes.
Mortal remains of the actor, wrapped in the national tri-colour have been kept at the stadium to enable fans and well-wishers to pay their respects all day on Saturday.
A steady stream of people from across the state have been pouring into the stadium since last evening.
Several film and political personalities have also paid their respects to the departed soul.
Karnataka Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot accompanied by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and other ministers of the state cabinet were among those who paid their respects today.
"The feeling is like losing a son of our house,” a tearful elderly woman fan said.
"Our Appu (as Puneeth is fondly called by fans) might have physically gone, but he will remain with us through his acting and the impact he has left on us because of his good and friendly nature,” a young fan said.
The state government has announced that Puneeth’s last rites will be conducted with state honours at Dr Rajkumar Punyabhoomi in Kanteerava studio, next to his father and mother.
According to sources, Puneeth Rajkumar’s daughter is abroad and is expected to reach the city by Saturday evening, following which last rites will be held, as per the family’s wishes.
The mortal remains will be taken in a procession from Kanteerava stadium at about 3 pm to Kanteerava studio, where the last rites will be performed.The late actor is survived by wife Ashwini Revanth and daughters Drithi and Vanditha.