Thousands of admirers gathered at Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Saturday to pay their last respects to actor Puneeth Rajkumar were filled with disbelief and anguish. On Friday, groups of friends and families, including parents with children in tow, travelled by train and bus from as far as Kalaburagi, Raichur, Yadgir, Ballari, and other parts of northern Karnataka to undertake the nocturnal journey. On Friday night, extra buses were run to fulfil the demand.
Fans waved Kannada flags and carried photographs of the actor, while another played popular songs from his films on a portable sound system they had brought with them. Gurulinga, a Kalaburagi fan, said, “I travelled by Udyan train with my friends. Like us, many people had boarded the train to see Puneeth for the last time.”
Chethan, a Raichur enthusiast, expressed his inability to accept the star’s untimely death.“I first saw the news on social media, and I could not believe it initially. At about 9 p.m. on Friday, we left from Raichur to Bengaluru by bus. After waiting for two hours, we somehow managed to get inside the stadium.”
Nanditha, a resident of Nelamangala who had come with her family members, said, “I have been a fan of Puneeth since my college days. He is a rare talent. Other than acting he was also a good singer and dancer. I cannot believe that he is no more.”