India Says Goodbye to Sridevi

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Bollywood superstar Sridevi was cremated in the Indian city of Mumbai on Thursday (Feb 28) as thousands of fans gathered outside to pay their last respects.

Earlier, crowds clutching roses queued outside the Celebration Sports Club in the city to bid farewell to the star.

A specially decorated truck carrying her body took hours to travel the 7km (4.3 miles) to the cemetery.

Vijay Bate

The actress was cremated with full state honours.

Her body was flown back to India on Tuesday night.

Sridevi, 54, died “due to accidental drowning following loss of consciousness”, police said. She was found in her hotel bathtub.

Known simply as Sridevi, the actress was considered one of the very few Indian female superstars capable of huge box-office success without the support of a male hero. She appeared in nearly 300 films over five decades.

Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

Film stars from Bollywood as well as the south Indian film industry were among the mourners at the sports club in the Andheri West area of Mumbai, home to Bollywood.

“Since I heard the news about her death, I have been standing outside her home for two to three hours every day, waiting for one glance,” Bhagirathi, an aspiring actress, told BBC

Marathi’s Abhijeet Kamble. She said she was inspired by Sridevi to try her luck in Bollywood.

Rajan Naidu, who has been a fan of Sridevi since he was a child, said he booked an entire cinema hall in Mumbai when her last movie, English Vinglish, was released in 2012. He even named his daughter after Sridevi.

Another fan, Kalpanaben Kodekar, said she travelled all the way from the neighbouring state of Gujarat to see Sridevi “one last time”.

“I’m really grateful that they allowed us inside and not just the celebrities. We’ll always feel the void Sridevi’s departure has created,” she added.

Large numbers of police have been deployed outside the star’s house, on the procession route and outside the Vile Parle Seva Samaj crematorium where the body will be taken.

It had earlier been reported that Sridevi died of cardiac arrest while at a family wedding in Dubai.

The full post-mortem report has not yet been released to the public and will be expected to explain how the original report of cardiac arrest and the listing of “accidental drowning” are linked.

The actress had been in the United Arab Emirates to attend the wedding of her nephew, Mohit Marwah.

Earlier reports:

Feb 27, Sridevi: ‘Case Closed’ in Bollywood Star’s Death

Feb 26, Sridevi Kapoor: Bollywood Superstar Dies at 54 of Heart Attack