Kannada film star Puneeth Rajkumar passes away, security beefed up across K’taka

Bengaluru, Oct 29 (IANS) Popular Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar, son of Kannada cinema legend Rajkumar, passed away at the age of 46 following a massive heart attack on Friday. Consequently, security has been beefed up across Karnataka.
Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, Karnataka Congress President D.K. Shivakumar, and former Union minister S.M. Krishna expressed their condolences on the untimely death of Puneeth.
According to family sources, Puneeth suffered a heart attack while working out at a gym. Immediately he was shifted to Vikram Hospital. Dr Ranganath Nayak stated that his condition was critical when he was brought to the hospital. But the efforts of doctors to revive him went in vain.
Puneeth’s health worsened on Thursday evening but he did not visit a doctor. He went to the gym in the morning and developed chest pain. He was taken to a private clinic where ECG was done. During check up, his condition worsened and he was rushed to Vikram Hospital, where he succumbed to cardiac arrest.
Puneeth has donated his eyes. He is survived by wife Ashwini and daughters Vanditha and Dhruthi.
Security has been beefed up all across the state including state capital Bengaluru to manage the situation. The Kannada film industry has come to a grinding halt and all movie shows have been cancelled in the state.
Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant has reached the residence of Puneeth at Sadashivanagar. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Kannada actor Puneeth’s elder brother Shivarajkumar are also expected to address the media shortly.
Puneeth Rajkumar’s last rites will be held on Saturday after the return of his elder daughter Vanditha from the US.
Karnataka Revenue Minister R. Ashok stated that the actor’s last rites will be conducted with government honours.
His mortal remains were taken to his residence from the hospital. Later, his body will be kept at Kanteerava stadium in Bengaluru after 6.30 p.m. for final viewing till late Saturday evening.
Raghavendra Rajkumar, elder brother of Puneeth, said that his younger sibling took him to hospital when he had suffered heart attack twice earlier. “He got the pacemaker for me. He brought me back from the hospital safely. But I could not bring him back. He went to see my parents,” he said.
Raghavendra Rajkumar stated that nothing has been decided yet on the last rites.
“Puneeth’s spouse is inconsolable and not in a position to talk. We will decide after discussion with all relatives. We have requested to make arrangements for public ‘darshan’. We all know what happened at the time of the death of our father (Kannada film legend Rajkumar) (Seven people were shot dead in the large-scale violence that followed after his death) That should not happen,” he stated.
State Congress President D.K. Shivakumar stated that he knew Puneeth since childhood. “He was a good friend. Puneeth absolutely had no bad habits. He had no greed. Even though I have tried to pull him into certain habits he declined. He was totally determined and did not budge an inch,” he said.
Bengaluru South MP Tejaswi Soorya stated that Puneeth was a fitness freak, saying “His videos of workouts during the lockdown period served as an inspiration for all of us.”
Cricketers Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag, Venkatesh Prasad, and Telugu film stars Chiranjeevi, Balakrishna, Junior NTR, Pavan Kalyan and Mahesh Babu also expressed their condolences.
Kannada film actor Puneeth Rajkumar’s mortal remains will be put to rest beside the grave of his father, the legendary actor of Kannada cinema Dr Rajkumar in Bengaluru. The order was issued in this regard by senior IAS officer N. Manjunath Prasad, Principle Secretary to the Chief Minister on Friday.
Puneeth Rajkumar’s mother Parvathamma is also laid to rest in the same premises. The decision has been taken as per the wishes of his family. Civic agency of Bengaluru and the Police department have been asked to make necessary arrangements.
The mortal remains of Puneeth Rajkumar are being kept for public view at Kanteerava Stadium till Saturday evening. Thousands of people across the state are pouring in to pay their last respects to their favourite star.
Puneeth was born on March 17, 1975 and was fondly known as ‘Appu’. He was also a singer, television presenter and producer. He acted in more than 29 films and has also appeared in many films as a child artiste. He won the National Film Award for Best Child Artiste for his role in ‘Bettada Hoovu’. He made his debut in the Kannada film industry with the movie ‘Appu’ in 2002.

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