Actor and former Union minister MH Ambareesh died in Bengaluru late on Saturday after suffering a cardiac arrest. The 66-year-old, often referred to as the “rebel star”, was taken to a private hospital soon after he collapsed at his home, but could not be revived, according to The New Indian Express.
“Despite all aggressive resuscitation efforts, Ambareesh could not be revived and is declared deceased at 22.15 on 24.11.2018,” said a statement from Vikram Hospital, according to IANS.
Ambareesh’s body was kept at the Kanteerava Stadium for public viewing on Sunday. At the stadium, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, former Prime Minister HD Devegowda and his wife Chennamma, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, were among the political leaders who paid homage to Ambareesh. Among actors, Rajinikanth, Chiranjeevi, Mohan Babu and Shivrajkumar paid homage to him.
His body was later flown in an Indian Air Force helicopter to Mandya, his home district, where thousands of people gathered at the Visweswarayya Stadium to have pay homage to Ambareesh.
The government has announced three days of mourning, The Hindu reported. Sale of liquor has also been prohibited till Monday night, PTI reported.
Nearly 8,000 policemen will be deployed in Bengaluru where his body would be taken from Kanteerava Stadium to Kantareeva Studio in a funeral procession.
Ambareesh acted in over 200 movies over 40 years, and joined politics in the 1990s. His first film was Nagarahavu, and some other acclaimed films he acted in include Elu Suttina Kote, Shubhamangala, Antha, Chakravyuha, and Masanada Hoovu. He was a member of Parliament three times from Mandya, and had been minister of housing in the previous Congress government led by Siddaramaiah before being dropped from the Cabinet.
Ambareesh had reportedly been suffering from health concerns over the last few years, including breathlessness, cardiac problems, diabetes, and renal failure. Because of this, he had refused to contest the last state elections, IANS reported.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi awas among those who have condoled his death. Modi called him “a strong voice for Karnataka’s welfare, at the state and central level”.