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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

A week after Puneeth Rajkumar laid to rest, 30,000 visiting memorial daily

People of all ages and backgrounds come to the Kanteerava Studios to pay last respects to the actor braving rain and long queues

Written by Kiran Parashar | Bengaluru |
November 7, 2021 10:51:39 pm
Shivakumar who along with his two sons had come to Kanteerava studio. (Express Photo)

“I have always loved Puneeth Rajkumar as an actor and a human being that I have even named my first son after him,” said Shivakumar, who along with his two sons, had come to Kanteerava Studios where film actor Puneeth Rajkumar has been laid to rest.

It has been 10 days since the demise of Puneeth Rajkumar on October 28 and a week since his cremation on October 31 but his fans have continued to throng to Kanteerava to pay their respects defying rain. Around 300 cops, including Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) and Bengaluru city police, have been deployed for 12-hour shifts a day.

Shivakumar, a businessman who had come with his two sons Puneeth and Jeevith, waited for more than an hour to pay a visit to Rajkumar’s memorial. Carrying his younger son on his shoulder, he stood in the line. “Not just for his acting but also for his concern towards society and his simplicity, I am Puneeth’s big fan,” he said.

A police officer said that, on average, 30,000 people come to visit the memorial daily. People of different age groups and various walks of life visit the memorial. The police have allowed the public to visit the studio between 9 am and 6 pm which is located on Outer Ring Road (ORR). City police on Friday helped many parents who were holding toddlers in line during rain.

Dharmesh, a resident of Bommanahalli who is a big fan of Puneeth Rajkumar, was there with his wife Asha and six-month child and they waited for more than an hour to pay their last respect. “I have come here with a heavy heart but continue to believe he is with us,” he said.

People from various parts of Karnataka and fan club members have been standing in long queues. 87-year-old Nanjamma who got a special entry because of her age managed to break the queue and visit the memorial. “I am losing my son. I have been a great fan of his father Dr Rajkumar as a young kid and also followed Puneeth Rajkumar’s movies. Though I haven’t watched all of his movies, I always had a special connection with Rajkumar’s family,” a sobbing Nanjamma said.

Isaac of Karnataka Christians Kannada fan club, with his team consisting of at least 20 paid visits to the memorial on Sunday. All of them wearing T-shirts with Puneeth Rajkumar’s photo written ‘Appu Amara’ (Puneeth fondly called Appu and Amara means eternal) were seen in the queue. Isaac said that all of them were at different towns when Puneeth Rajkumar passed away and they decided to pay a visit along with members.

On Saturday, Guru, a native of Ballari working in Bengaluru, and his lover Ganga visited the memorial and said that they have decided to marry in front of Puneeth Rajkumar’s memorial. Guru said, “I am a dancer and ever since my childhood, I have been a fan of Puneeth Rajkumar. I wanted to show him my dancing skills and wanted to meet but it never happened. I and Ganga have decided to get married in front of Puneeth’s memorial as it is our temple now.”

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