The authorities took the help of police as it became difficult to control the swarming crowds of fans in anticipation of violence after Puneeth Rajkumar, a popular actor died in India’s tech capital of Bengaluru.
Puneeth Rajkumar, 46, a dashing lead in films and a member of an illustrious movie family, died of a heart attack this afternoon, doctors treating him told reporters.
Television channels showed crowds of fans swarming toward the hospital where he was being treated, and police were out in force trying to control them.
A great loss to the movie industry
Film stars are revered in India, almost obsessively and even natural deaths of movie stars have led to violent turmoil in the past as distraught fans try to come to terms with the death of their idol.
The death of Rajkumar’s father, Singanalluru Puttaswamaiah Muthuraj, in 2006 also led to outpourings of grief and shutdowns.
“I pray to the people of the state to do his last rites with respect, please be peaceful and allow the family to mourn in peace,” the chief minister of Karnataka state, Basavraj Bommai, told a news conference minutes after the actor’s death was announced.
Puneeth Rajkumar, a prominent film actor from southern India, has died at the age of 46.
The star of Kannada cinema worked on more than 29 films and won the national award for “the best child artist” earlier in his career.
Rajkumar died of a heart attack in Bengaluru on Friday
Offices and shops in Bengaluru have closed fearing violence following his sudden death.
There has been a sudden outpouring of grief among his fans who have gathered outside his residence in the city.
Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai told reporters that Rajkumar was taken to the doctor, complaining of intense fatigue after visiting the gym.
He was then rushed to the hospital, where he later died.
His body will be placed at the Kanteerava Stadium for fans to pay their respects.
Rajkumar was known for his dancing skills and was a playback singer like this father Rajkumar. His first appearance was in the film “Bettadu Hoovu”, alongside his father when he was just 10 years old.
A decade later, he appeared in “Appu” and continued starring in films, with his last movie appearance in 2017.
Rajkumar’s elder brother Raghavendra Rajkumar said his family was “in a state of shock” and urged everyone to remain peaceful.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to Rajkumar on Twitter.
Reuters with additional input by GVS