Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar’s last rites were conducted with State honours at the Sree Kanteerava Studios in Bengaluru on Sunday morning. Several thousand fans paid their last respects to the actor including Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai, ANI reported.
The late actor was laid to rest where his Rajkumar and Parvathamma Rajkumar were buried. Puneeth’s eyes were donated after his demise just as his father’s were.
Puneeth, who died at the age of 46 on Friday, was admitted to Vikram Hospital after he complained of chest pains that morning. He was unresponsive when he was brought into the emergency department. Subsequently, the actor succumbed to cardiac arrest.
The chief minister announced to the media that the funeral will take place early Sunday although Bengaluru police officials initially said that his funeral is likely to take place on Saturday evening. The family is awaiting the arrival of Puneeth’s daughter from the US during the time. The actor’s mortal remains were kept at Kanteerva Stadium, where many, including actors Prabhu Deva, Nandamuri Balakrishna, Chiranjeevi, and Junior NTR, among others paid their respects. According to The Indian Express, the final rites were limited to only family members and important dignitaries. On Sunday, 5 am, the mortal remains were taken in a 24-km procession, from the stadium to the studio, with crowds thronging to catch the final glimpse.
Speaking to ANI, CM Basavaraj Bommai said on Sunday, “It was a personal bonding with the entire family and more so with ‘Appu’. I had seen him as a boy. We had relations since those days. Therefore I am giving him a final salute. Certainly, I was emotional”.
Fondly known as Appu, after his debut film as lead in 2002, Puneeth is the son of legendary Indian actor and singer Rajkumar. He first appeared in films as a toddler, starting with Premada Kanike (1976). He later went on to star as lead actor in commercially successful films like Mourya (2004), Aakash (2005), Milana (2007), and Jackie (2010), among others.
Puneeth leaves behind his wife Ashwini and two daughters. His last film was Yuvarathnaa (2021).