Police fired tear gas to clear hundreds of grieving fans trying to force their way into the Bangalore home of vet Kannada-language thesp Rajkumar, who died of a cardiac arrest in a hospital in the southern Indian city on Wednesday.
The fans, who wanted to pay their last respects to the thesp also known as Annavaru (Big Brother), went on a rampage, damaging or setting fire to police vehicles, buses and private cars.
The actor’s body was later moved to a public park to allow fans a final farewell. The regional government will give Rajkumar, who was 76, a state funeral in Bangalore’s Kanteerva Sports Stadium today. The state has declared a holiday for schools, colleges and government offices; two days of mourning will end today.
Theaters shuttered as a mark of respect for the man, born Mutturaju Singanalluru Puttaswamayya, who acted in more than 200 films.
His last outing was in “Shabdavedi” in 2000 when he was kidnapped by a bandit for a few months. Ill health prevented him from returning to the screen.
Rajkumar is survived by his wife, producer Parvathamma, and actor sons Shivrajkumar, Raghavendra Rajkumar and Puneet Rajkumar.