It was a tearful adieu for youth icon Puneeth Rajkumar, as the Power Star was laid to rest with full state honours early in the morning on Sunday, October 31. Puneeth was laid to rest close to his father, the legendary actor Dr Rajkumar, and mother Parvathamma at the Kanteerava Studio in Bengaluru. Puneeth’s funeral procession started around 6 am on Sunday 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.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar, were 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 to Puneeth at Bengaluru's Kanteerava Stadium.
Lakhs of people from across the city as well as far-reaching areas of the state had converged at the Kanteerava Stadium where Puneeth’s mortal remains had been kept. In a shock to fans and the film industry alike, Puneeth suffered a fatal cardiac arrest and passed away at Vikram hospital in Bengaluru on Friday. Though a limited number of people were allowed inside Kanteerava Studio on Sunday when his last rites were carried out, Puneeth’s fans gathered in large numbers outside the stadium and stood atop terraces of the neighbouring buildings, hoping to catch a glimpse of their Power Star.
Before he was laid to rest, Chief Minister Bommai was seen kissing Puneeth’s forehead. In a tweet, Bommai said, “Before the final journey of Puneeth Rajkumar, an emotional farewell was said. Be born again Appu. Another popular Kannada actor Sudeep tweeted saying, “Puneeth… Our dear Appu. Go in peace and Rest in power my friend.”
ಇಂದು ಬೆಳಿಗ್ಗೆ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನ ಕಂಠೀರವ ಸ್ಟುಡಿಯೋ ಆವರಣದಲ್ಲಿ ನಟ ಪುನೀತ್ ರಾಜಕುಮಾರ್ ಅವರ ಅಂತಿಮ ಸಂಸ್ಕಾರವನ್ನು ಸರ್ಕಾರಿ ಗೌರವದೊಂದಿಗೆ ನೆರವೇರಿಸಲಾಯಿತು. ಈ ಸಂದರ್ಭದಲ್ಲಿ ಪುನೀತ್ ಅವರ ಪತ್ನಿ ಅಶ್ವಿನಿ ಅವರಿಗೆ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರಧ್ವಜವನ್ನು ಹಸ್ತಾಂತರಿಸಲಾಯಿತು.#PuneethRajkumar @PuneethRajkumar pic.twitter.com/aEymZwD4aG— Basavaraj S Bommai (@BSBommai) October 31, 2021
Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar's passing away left his family, friends, and fans devastated. Among them was actor Jr NTR, who was a close friend of Puneeth, who broke down as he was being laid to rest. They both shared a special bond as they frequently spent time together despite their busy schedules. NTR had also sung a song for his movie.
Balakrishna and choreographer and director Prabhu Deva also appeared devastated as they paid their final respects. Balakrishna treated Puneeth as his own brother and went to several public meetings together. Actor Yash was also present at the final rites ceremony.