Thousands of heartbroken fans and Bollywood actors paid their last respects to Indian superstar Sridevi Kapoor Wednesday following her shock death from accidental drowning in a Dubai hotel bathtub aged just 54.
A huge crowd of mourners — some carrying roses, others holding photos of the late actress — lined Mumbai’s streets to see their beloved idol embark on her last journey.
At one point police had to use batons to force back those unable to get into the hall where her body was laid out, wrapped in the Indian flag.
“It’s a shock to believe that she is no more. We want to pay her one last visit today and thank her for all her wonderful performances,” 32-year-old teacher Nandini Rao told AFP as she queued at the condolence event.
After a public service, Sridevi’s flower-bedecked funeral cortege made its way slowly to a crematorium where her family said their final goodbyes.
She was cremated with full state honours at a private Hindu ceremony late in the afternoon after her husband, film producer Boney Kapoor, performed the last rites.
Bollywood stars, including actresses Aishwarya Rai and Kajol, were among the mourners at the Celebration Sports Club in the Andheri West area of Mumbai — the home of the Hindi film industry.
Several tearful fans chanted prayers as Sridevi’s body was brought the short distance from her home to the club at 9:00 am (0330 GMT).
“I’m an avid Sridevi fan. I loved her smiling personality. She had such a commanding presence in the Indian film industry. Her death was so sudden and I feel terrible,” 45-year-old Kuldeep Singh told AFP.
Heavy security was in force along the streets to control the crowds, which included people who had traveled hundreds of kilometres to be there.
Sridevi was considered one of the most influential Bollywood actresses of all time and her sudden death at the weekend sparked an outpouring of grief in India.
Tributes poured in from fans and fellow actors as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Source: Channels News