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Last rites amid Vedic chanting, violence

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THE LAST JOURNEY: The mortal remains of Vishnuvardhan makes its way slowly to Abhiman Studio for cremation in Bangalore on Wednesday.
THE LAST JOURNEY: The mortal remains of Vishnuvardhan makes its way slowly to Abhiman Studio for cremation in Bangalore on Wednesday.

M.T. Shiva Kumar

City Armed Reserve personnel accord a 21-gun salute

BANGALORE: Actor Vishnuvardhan was cremated amid chanting of Vedic rituals on the Abhiman Studio campus here on Wednesday night even as incensed fans from across the State, denied entry inside the premises, went on the rampage, setting vehicles on fire and pelting stones.

The body arrived around 7.30 p.m. from the National College Grounds in Basavanagudi, and the funeral pyre was lit at around 8 p.m. by Vishnuvardhan’s brother Ravi Kumar.

The late actor’s family, members from the film industry, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and Ministers attended the funeral ceremony.

Among those present were Vishnuvardhan’s wife, Bharathi, their daughters, Priya and Keerthi, son-in-law Aniruddh, actors Arjun Sarja, Ambareesh, Avinash, Malavika, Shivaram and Ramesh Bhat. A distraught family friend, Shivaram, fell near the pyre, unable to control his emotions. Earlier, the City Armed Reserve personnel accorded a 21-gun salute as part of State honours.

Several people clambered up the trees outside the studio to catch a glimpse of the last rites. Frenzied fans were held back by a heavy posse of police personnel. The actor’s fans initially threw stones on the police and parked vehicles. Later, four cars belonging to various electronic media houses and one belonging to a journalist from an English daily were set on fire by the mob. Over 100 people, including several policemen, were injured in the violence.

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