Thousands mourn as Harikrishna cremated with state honours

People recall the actor-politician’s simplicity, soft manners and concern for all

Hyderabad: Senior Telugu Desam leader and film actor Nandamuri Harikrishna was cremated with state honours in Hyderabad on Thursday.

The road from his residence in Mehdipatnam to Mahaprastanam cremation ground in Jubilee Hills had turned into a sea of humanity as thousands of mourners joined the funeral procession as his body kept in a flower laden vehicle was taken out.

Harikrishna’s brother in law Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and brothers N Balakrishna and Jayakrishna and former Supreme Court judge Justice J Chalameshwar were among the pall bearers.

As a ceremonial police posse accorded a gun salute as part of the state honours to Harikrishna his son and actor Kalyanram set fire to the pyre. Harikrishna’s other son from his second wife and Telugu super star Junior NTR was crying inconsolably.

Telangana government today announced that it will build a memorial of Harikrishna at the place of cremation.

Earlier there was an unending stream of visitors and mourners at Harikrishna’s home. Police found it difficult to control the surging crowds as thousands of people from various parts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana reached the city for his last glimpse. Many came from NTR’s native district Krishna as well as Hindupur in Anantapur from where he was elected to the state assembly once.

Many people recalled his simplicity, soft manners and care and concern for all. They fondly remembered him as “NTR’s Saradha” (NTR’s charioteer) as he used to drive the election campaign vehicle of his father.

The long list of VIPs who paid respect to him and consoled the family included the Vice-President of India M Venkaiah Naidu, state ministers Taraka Rama Rao, T Nageshwara Rao, T Srinivas Yadav, MP Kavitha, former MPs Renuka Chowdhary and Jaya Pravda, film stars Nagarjuna, Mohan Babu, Pawan Kalyan.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and state governor ESL Narasimhan had visited his residence and paid tributes last evening.

Traffic came to a grinding halt in many parts of the city as the route of the procession was closed for the normal traffic and vehicles were diverted to alternate routes. The cascading impact affected the flow of traffic in many areas as procession passed through Tolichowki and Shaikhpet to reach Jubilee Hills.

Harikrishna, son of Telugu Desam founder and legendary actor NT Rama Rao died In a ghastly road accident in Nalgonda district in the wee hours of Wednesday when he was driving a Toyota SUV. He was going to Nellore to attend wedding of a fan.

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