Bengaluru: The body of Kannada cinema star M.H. Ambareesh was on Sunday flown from here by an Air Force helicopter to his hometown Mandya in south Karnataka for a last glimpse by his fans and the public, said an official.
“The glass casket containing Ambareesh’s body was flown to Mandya in the evening (at 5.00 p.m.) and kept at MV Stadium for the public to see him one last time and pay their respects till Monday morning,” an official told IANS here.
Ambareesh, 66, died Saturday night following a heart attack at a private hospital in the city.
His wife and multilingual actress Sumalatha, son Abhishek and a few relatives who accompanied the body, were seated around the body in the stadium.
Mandya is about 100km from Bengaluru on way to Mysuru.
Thousands of people, including children, from Mandya and Mysuru districts thronged the stadium to see the body of their ‘rebel star’ draped in the tri-colour and the famous Mysuru ‘peta’ (headgear) crowning his head.
“The body will be flown back to Bengaluru on Monday morning for a State funeral at the Kanteerva Stadium in the city’s northwest. It will be kept at the Kanteerva Stadium in the City Centre till afternoon for the public to pay their homage,” said the official.
“The state government sought the Defence Ministry’s permission to use the Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter for flying Ambareesh’s body to Mandya and bring it back to Bengaluru for the last rites as a special case,” added the official.
Among the prominent people who paid floral tributes to Ambareesh were Suttur Mutt pontiff Shivarathri Deshikendra and Adichunchanagiri Mutt pontiff Nirmalananda, who also consoled the bereaved family.
The administration imposed prohibitory orders in Mandya district to maintain law and order and regulate the crowd going to the stadium.
“Sale of liquor has also been banned till Monday night across the district to prevent any untoward incident during the three-day mourning period,” Mandya Deputy Commissioner N. Manjusri told reporters.
The administration has also deployed about 2,000 police personnel in and around the stadium to regulate the movement of the people.