Rajput’s last rites likely to be performed in Mumbai, says relative

Bollywood

The last rites of actor Sushant Singh Rajput are likely to be performed in Mumbai as bringing the mortal remains to his hometown here may not be feasible in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, a close member of the family said on Monday.

Neeraj Singh Bablu, a BJP MLA who is also a cousin of the 34-year-old actor who was found hanging in his apartment in Mumbai”s Bandra on Sunday, accompanied the bereaved father to the western metropolis and responded to queries from journalists before boarding the flight.

“We wanted to conduct the last rites here, but in view of the coronavirus outbreak, it may not be feasible. Hence, the rituals may be performed in Mumbai.

“We are shattered. He was so young and full of life, inspired others to realise their potential,” said Bablu, who also recalled Rajput”s visit to his residence in Saharsa last year, where he mixed effortlessly with the locals, without any trappings of stardom.

Local newspapers also re-published photographs of Rajput”s extended holiday in his home state, during which he spent time with family and childhood friends at his Patna residence, visited his ancestral village in Purnea district and went to Bablu”s place.

The actor also had his “mundan” (tonsure) ceremony performed on the banks of the Ganges in Khagaria, in accordance with the wishes of his late mother, who belonged to the district.

“We were planning to get him married later this year,” Bablu said wistfully and added that none in the family had any inkling that the actor was going through a turmoil, though he had begun to display a strong spiritual bent of mind of late.

“Ever since he acted in the movie ”Kedarnath”, he seemed to have been mesmerised by the pilgrimage centre. He would keep looking for an opportunity to visit the place again. He was always spiritual, the orientation had grown stronger in recent times though,” Bablu said.

The cousin”s observations were in consonance with Rajput”s last Instagram post, which is a week old but has gone viral on the social media following his demise, wherein he ruminated about the ephemeral nature of life while remembering his late mother, who died while he was still in school.

Bablu was also asked about the demands of a “CBI inquiry” into Rajput”s death by some political leaders in the state, to which he replied, “At the moment, we are weighed down by the immensity of the tragedy. If, upon reaching Mumbai, we find any signs of foul play, then naturally we will try to ensure that the matter is probed thoroughly and justice is done.”

Bablu was accompanied by Rajput”s father K K Singh, who sobbed inconsolably and was too overcome by emotion to speak. Three other members of the family also accompanied them to Mumbai.

The actor is the youngest of five siblings. Among his four elder sisters, one is said to be settled in the US and may not be able to make it to the funeral.

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