Bengaluru: The mortal remains of Sandalwood ‘Power Star’ Puneeth Rajkumar was laid to rest with full state honours Sunday very close to the samadhi of his parents, the legendary actor Dr Rajkumar and mother Parvathamma at the Kanteerava Studio here.
Puneeth’s funeral procession started around 6 am and the final rites were conducted at around 7:30 am. Puneeth was given full state honors and the Indian flag was handed over to Puneeth’s wife Ashwini by Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.
Bommai, former Chief Ministers BS Yediyurapppa, Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar were among those present at the studio. Members from the film industry — Telugu actors Nandamuri Balakrishna, Jr NTR, Chiranjeevi, Venkatesh, Srikanth, Ali, and many others had flown all the way from Hyderabad to pay their last respects.
Before he was laid to rest, Bommai was seen kissing Puneeth’s forehead. In a tweet, Bommai said, “Before the final journey of Puneeth Rajkumar, an emotional farewell was said”.
The CM, who personally supervised the last journey, gave a "final salute" ahead of the funeral. "It was a personal bonding with the entire family and more so with 'Appu' (as Puneeeth was fondly called). I had seen him as a boy. We had (personal)relationships since those days. Therefore, I am giving him a final salute. Certainly, I was emotional. Be born again as Appu," Bommai said.
Another popular Kannada actor Sudeep tweeted saying, “Puneeth… Our dear Appu. Go in peace and Rest in power my friend.”
Saturday evening Puneeth’s eldest daughter, Drithi, arrived from the US and paid her last respects. She insisted that the glass covering of the coffin be removed so that she could give her father one last kiss on his forehead. Just weeks back, Puneeth had kissed her daughter on her forehead at the airport when she left for the US for studies.
On Saturday, visuals showed a sea of fans at Sree Kanteerava Studios. Some people gathered on terraces of the buildings around the Studios while others climbed trees around it to catch a glimpse of the late actor.
Puneeth, known for his social commitment, had donated his eyes like his father who had himself pledged his entire family's eyes back in 1994.
Puneeth's sudden demise Friday sent shockwaves across the country. On Friday, he performed some extra workouts at the gym and complained of uneasiness. He, along with his wife Ashwini, visited Dr Ramana Rao, their consultant, who took his ECG. The results showed that Puneeth was having a heart attack and the doctor rushed him to Vikram Hospital for further treatment. However, Puneeth was in a non-responsive state when he reached the hospital.
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