BANGALORE: Grief was so unbearable for some of actor Vishnuvardhan’s friends and fans that they simply fainted at the Basavanagudi National College grounds where his body was kept. While at least 10 persons who fainted on the grounds were rushed to the nearby hospitals, several others were treated in the ambulances that were stationed there. Earlier, music director V. Manohar who had come to pay respects to the star at his residence also fainted.
Many of the fans had turned up with their heads tonsured. Munirajappa had come all the way from Chitradurga. He said that he along with five of his friends had tonsured his head because his favourite actor was seen with his head shaven in the big hit “Muttina Haara”.
A large number of women braved the surging mob and paid their respect to their hero by wading through the barricades.
Pandals had cropped up suddenly at street corners in some areas like Siddapura, Rajajinagar and Magadi Road to pay respects to the actor. Garlanded pictures of the actor were displayed and songs from his films were being played.
Hundreds of fans who failed in their attempts to get into the National College grounds climbed trees to get a glimpse while many others scaled the college building to escape the lathi-wielding policemen. Outside Abhiman Studio, where the actor was cremated, five persons who had climbed a tree suffered injuries after they fell.
Though there was no holiday for offices, most establishments remained deserted with many abstaining from work for lack of transport. Those who did turn up, left early. Only those living in south Bangalore stayed put in offices and waited for the frenzy to abate before they ventured out.
On their toes
Life has not been easy for policemen attached to the Basavangudi Police Station. If it was 24/7 duty for them on Tuesday because of the death of singer C. Ashwath, the death of Mr. Vishnuvardhan and the violence that followed kept them on their toes on Wednesday. With Thursday being New Year’s eve, there is no respite for them in sight.
With most hotels and business establishments around the National College grounds having downed the shutters, hungry and thirsty fans had a tough time.
Police personnel, already under pressure to chase away violent mobs, also faced similar problems.