Goodbye Puneeth Rajkumar...The Power Star of Sandalwood passes away at 46!

In a shocking piece of news, Power star of Sandalwood Puneeth Rajkumar has on Friday passed away in Bengaluru at the age of 46 due to cardiac arrest. The popular actor was brought to Vikram Hospital in the city on Friday morning and was moved to the Intensive Care Unit as his condition was worsening. The news of the sudden hospitalization of the 46-year-old actor had quickly drawn national attention with hundreds and thousands of his fans have been expressing condolences to the family of the deceased. 

Rajkumar, who was celebrated by masses, had complained of chest pain on Friday morning while working out in his gym. He was immediately rushed to Vikram Hospital. Initially, he was taken to a private hospital and later shifted to Vikram Hospital at around 11.30 am. Vikram Hospital is a unit of Manipal Hospitals and he was brought at a critical state and amid the treatments, the quadragenarian had breathed his last on Friday afternoon, leaving an everlasting legacy across and beyond Sandalwood.

Speaking to the media after Rajkumar's arrival at the hospital, Dr Ranganath Nayak, senior consultant cardiologist in Vikram Hospital, said that Puneeth Rajkumar reached the hospital at 11.30 am with chest pain. "Trying our best to treat him. His condition is serious. Can't say anything as of now. His condition was bad when brought to the hospital, treatment on in ICU", Nayak added. He further said, "Prior to coming here, he (Rajkumar) had gone to a clinic following chest pain at around 11 am. ECG was done in the clinic and he has suffered from a heart attack." 

Later, the hospital said that Puneet Rajkumar was unresponsive and was in Cardiac Asystole and Advanced cardiac resuscitation was initiated. However, his health had deteriorated further and the actor had passed away. While he was battling for life, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and several leading actors had rushed to the hospital to visit Puneet Rajkumar and as the news of his demise spread, hundreds of people had gathered before the hospital as the actor had stopped breathing. 

Though the hospital hasn't issued an official statement concerning the actor's demise, several reports had confirmed that the actor is no more. As more and more people had begun gathering before the hospital, the city police had deployed additional forces to counter any untoward incidents. Several leaders and celebrities have been paying tribute to the departed soul and placing condolences on the actor's family, which is one of the well-known families in India. 

Karnataka Minister Dr CN Ashwathnarayan has confirmed Puneet Rajkumar's demise. The minister said, "He had accomplished immensely from an early age. It is difficult to believe that he, who has always been the backbone of constructive programs, is no more." Puneet Rajkumar, who was fondly called the Power Star of Sandalwood, has left behind a wife and two daughters. He was active in the industry for the past three decades and besides acting, he was also known for his versatility. He had done playback singing, television presently, and produced movies in Kannada cinema.

Some of his everlasting performances and movies are 'Vasantha Geetha', 'Bhagyavantha', 'Chalisuva Modagalu', 'Eradu Nakshatragalu', 'Bhakta Prahaladha', 'Yarivanu', and 'Bettada Hoovi'. He won the National Film Award for Best Child Artist for his role of Ramu in 'Bettada Hoovu'. He was also conferred with Karnataka State Award Best Child Artist for 'Chalisuva Modagalu' and 'Yeradu Nakshatragalu'. Besides these significant movies, he had appeared as a lead actor in commercially successful films, including 'Appu', 'Abhi', 'Veera Kannadiga', 'Mourya', 'Aakash', ''Ajay', 'Arasu', 'Vamshi', 'Raam', 'Jackie', and 'Anjani Putra'. 

He was one of the popular celebrities and highest-paid actors in the Kannada cinema and he made his debut as a television presenter in 2012 on the game show 'Kannadada Kotyadhipati'. Born as Lohit Rajkumar on 17th March 1975 in Chennai, Puneet Rajkumar is the fifth and youngest child of veteran Kannada actor Rajkumar and Parvathamma Rajkumar. Puneet's elder brother Shiva Rajkumar is also a popular actor. Puneeth was last seen in 'Yuvarathnaa', which was released early this year and became a blockbuster.  

The untimely demise of Puneeth Rajkumar at the age of 46 had saddened the film fraternities, national leaders, the common people. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman took to Twitter and wrote, "Condolences on the passing away of #PuneethRajkumar. A bright star. He had a long promising career ahead. My condolences to his family, his innumerable fans and his followers".

In his obituary note, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai wrote, "Shocked and deeply saddened as Karnataka's most loved superstar #PuneetRajkumar is no longer with us. A huge personal loss and one that's difficult to come to terms with. Praying the almighty gives the Rajkumar family and fans the strength to bear this loss." Telugu star Mahesh Babu wrote, "Shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic news of Puneeth Rajkumar's demise. One of the most humble people I've met and interacted with. Heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones."

Malayalam superstar Mammooty wrote, "Shocking and Heartbreaking to know that Puneeth is no more. It is a huge loss for the film fraternity. My deepest condolences to Puneeth's family and loved ones. RIP #PuneethRajkumar." Actor Sonu Sood took to social media and wrote, "Heartbroken. Will always miss you, my brother." Puneet Rajkumar was well admired for his discipline and he had also involved in philanthropy with his mother in Mysore. His body was transported from the hospital to his house amid the sea of people and it has been reported that his final journey will take place on Friday evening as the entire Karnataka mourns his loss.