Bollywood stars, including Kareena Kapoor Khan, Anushka Sharma, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Manoj Bajpayee, on Thursday expressed grief over the death of actor Asif Basra.
Basra, who featured in several popular films including "Jab We Met", "Kai Po Che!" and web series "Paatal Lok", was found hanging in a private residential complex in Dharamshala, the police have said.
His body has been sent for post-mortem and the police have started an investigation in the case.
The 53-year-old had reportedly leased a property in McLeodganj, Upper Dharamshala, about five-six years ago and visited the place regularly.
Though he featured in brief roles in several acclaimed movies, Basra was known to leave a lasting impact even with limited screen time.
In Imtiaz Ali's 2007 hit "Jab We Met", Basra played a station vendor and had a memorable scene with Khan.
The actor took to Instagram and posted a picture of Basra.
"Rest in peace Asif Basra. Heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones," Khan captioned.
Sharma, who backed Basra's most recent outing in Amazon Prime Video's smash-hit series "Paatal Lok", also paid tributes to the actor.
"My sincere condolences and prayers with the family and loved ones. RIP Asif Basra," she wrote on her Instagram Story.
Actor Priyanka Chopra, who worked with Basra in superhero movie "Krrish 3" also sent her condolences to the actor's family.
"RIP Asif Basra..A terrible loss of a talented, versatile artist. My deepest condolences to the family," she posted on Twitter.
Actor Emraan Hashmi, who played Basra's son in Milan Luthria's 2010 hit "Once Upon A Time In Mumbai", tweeted a picture of the actor on Twitter and wrote "RIP Asif bhai." Randeep Hooda, his other co-star from the film, also mourned the actor's death on Twitter.
Actor Manoj Bajpayee revealed he had worked with Basra shortly before the nation-wide lockdown was announced.
"What? This is too shocking! Shot with him just before Lockdown! Oh My God!" Bajpayee wrote.
Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui dubbed Basra's demise as "unbelievable" and said it was "yet another loss of a dear friend." "Asif Basra - gem of a talent and full of life personality Rest In Peace My Friend - More Power to Family," Siddiqui tweeted.
Director Hansal Mehta was equally stunned. "Asif Basra! Can't be true... This is just very, very sad," he posted.
Among the others who condoled his death were directors Onir and Rahul Dholakia.
"In shock. Can't believe that we have lost him. #Asifbasra Used to meet him so often at the park jogging. He would tell me not to jog sideways, I might lose balance and hurt myself," Onir tweeted.
Dholakia, who directed Basra in the National Award-winning movie "Parzania" and in the Sanjay Dutt-starrer "Lamhaa", remembered Basra as a "jovial and hard working person, who loved riding bikes jovial fellow".
"His face and personality was such that he could easily fit into any role. I directed him in three films, he was fabulous in 'Parzania', in which he had to play a really layered role and did so effortlessly," Dholakia told PTI.
Casting director Mukesh Chhabra tweeted, "This can't be true Asif Bhai, we have done so much work together from 'Kai Po Che' to 'Hostages 2'. I can not believe this! What is happening? #Asifbasra".
Director Sachin Mamta Krishn, who worked with Basra on Hotstar Special series "Hostages 2", termed the actor's death as "extremely unfortunate".
"He was that one person we all would find the most affable on set. He was so jovial that whenever he'd walk on to a set, the whole vibe would change. He brought in so much goodness. It's tragic," Krishn told PTI.
"Hostages 2" stars Divya Dutta and Tisca Chopra also expressed their shock over his death.
"Terribly shocked to hear about @asifbasra's untimely demise. We shot together for #hostages2. Looked sucha happy free spirited man! And was Sucha fab actor!! Rip Asif. This is hard to digest," Dutta said.
Tisca Chopra tweeted, "What a dreadful bloody year .. Another colleague gone .. RIP #AsifBasra .. The heavens shall welcome your gentle soul and lead you to peace." Filmmaker Siddharth P Malhotra, who directed Basra in 2018 film "Hichki", said the actor had told him that Dharamshala was his go-to-place for peace.
"I'm baffled. He was not an anti-life person. He was full of energy and life. He was one of the first people we approached for 'Hichki'. He was happy.
"Dharamshala was his go to place, he would love to go there and chill and be himself. He had said he would go there every year as he found peace there. He was a very intelligent, positive and happy person. He was content with work," Malhotra, told PTI.
Filmmaker Feroz Abbas Khan, who worked with Basra in a play "Mahatma vs Gandhi ", said he is stunned by Basra's sudden demise.
"I have known him at early stage of his career, he worked with me on my play 'Mahatma vs Gandhi'. I met him at Prithvi Theatre couple of months ago. He seemed the least likely to do something like this, (but) we don't know the darkness in the heart," Khan told PTI. According to Khan, Basra is survived by his parents and sister, who live in suburban Mumbai.