Mumbai, Sep 3: TV and film actor Sidharth Shukla, whose sudden death at the age of 40 stunned the film industry and TV fandom, was cremated here on Friday afternoon in the presence of his family, friends and colleagues.
The actor, who became a household name with his role in the long-running TV show "Balika Vadhu" and as the winner of "Bigg Boss 13", was declared dead on arrival around 10.20 am on Thursday when he was taken to the Cooper Hospital in suburban Juhu. While the last rites were conducted at the Oshiwara crematorium, scores of people gathered outside. Curious fans hoping to catch a glimpse of their favourite TV stars jostled with mourners, shocked at the death of the popular actor, and TV crews.
The actor's mortal remains left Cooper Hospital around 1.20 pm in a hearse decorated with marigold flowers— and amid heavy police security and crowds of people hoping to catch a last glimpse of the actor. Shukla's mother Rita and his colleagues, including actors Aly Goni, Asim Riaz Paras Chhabra, Mahira Khan, Abhinav Shukla, Jay Bhanushali with wife Mahhi Vij, were among those inside the crematorium.
Shukla's friend and rumoured girlfriend, Shehnaaz Gill arrived at the crematorium with her brother. Shehnaaz and Shukla met during "Bigg Boss 13" and became an extremely popular couple.
Before stepping out of the car, Shehnaaz was seen breaking down as her brother comforted her. She was then escorted inside the crematorium by her brother and police officials amid a crowd of journalists and videographers. Bollywood actors Varun Dhawan, who worked with him in "Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania" and Rajkummar Rao were among those who visited the actor's house to pay their tributes.
Shukla's body was kept at the state government post mortem centre overnight. The model-turned-actor made his debut with a lead role in the television show "Babul Ka Aangann Chhootey Na" and attained popularity with "Balika Vadhu".
Besides daily soaps, Shukla also participated in reality shows, including "Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 6", "Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi 7" and "Bigg Boss 13". In 2014, Shukla made his Bollywood debut with the Karan Johar-produced "Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania" where he had a supporting role.