The body of well-known South Indian film actor Kalabhavan Mani, who died at a private hospital in Kochi, will be cremated at the premises of his residence today, as people thronged the government medical college hospital here to pay their last respects.
Hospital sources said post-mortem on the body was performed by a special team of doctors in the morning.
The decision to perform autopsy was taken after doctors at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Kochi, where he was treated for liver and kidney diseases, found substance of methanol in his blood samples.
They had reported the matter to police yesterday itself. Police have registered a case of unnatural death and constituted a special investigation team to probe the mystery behind the death, police sources said.
Mani (45) was brought to the private hospital on Saturday evening in a serious condition. He was put on ventilator support after his condition deteriorated last evening and died at 7.15 PM.
Meanwhile, thousands of people thronged the Medical College Hospital here to pay their last respects to the popular actor, who shot to fame with his performance as a visually challenged person in “Vasantiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njanum”.
He won special accolades from both national and state film award juries for his performance in the movie.
Elaborate arrangements have been made to enable the public to pay their last respects to Mani here and at Chalakkudy in Thrissur district where the cremation is to be held at 5 pm.
Born on January 1, 1971, Mani was an autorickshaw driver when he started his career as a mimicry artiste at the famous Cochin Kalabhavan, a centre for learning performing arts, in Kochi two decades ago.
He began his acting career in the Siby Malayil directed Malayalam film “Aksharam”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the demise of Mani.
“A promising career is cut short. Kalabhavan Mani was multifaceted and popular. Pained by his demise. Condolences to his family and fans,” he tweeted yesterday.
“It is an irreparable loss for us,” noted film director Kamal has said.
Mani is survived by wife and daughter.