Mumbai (PTI): As the ambulance carrying the body of Bollywood icon Sridevi entered her residence in suburban Andheri on Tuesday, a large number of fans jostled for a glimpse of their favourite actor.
Both sides of the road leading to Sridevi’s ‘Green Acres’ residence in Lokhandwala were crowded with her fans, with some even climbing the trees to have a clear view.
The ambulance, escorted by three police vehicles, brought the body home from the airport at around 10:30 p.m. soon after it arrived from Dubai where she died three days ago at the age of 54.
Earlier on Tuesday, Dubai Public Prosecutor’s Office put an end to speculation about the cause of her death, saying she accidentally drowned in the bathtub following loss of consciousness, and that the “case was now closed”.
Family members, including her filmmaker husband Boney Kapoor and stepson Arjun Kapoor, brought her body in a private plane from Dubai.
Boney’s brother Anil Kapoor along with his son Harshvardhan had gone to the airport to bring home the actor’s body.
Police personnel and private security guards deployed at the residence had a tough time in controlling the crowds when the ambulance carrying Sridevi’s body drove into the house.
Designer Manish Malhotra, Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar were among those who visited the residence soon after the arrival of the body.
Before the body arrived, a few Hindu priests and doctors entered the residence of the Kapoors.
The last rites will be performed on Wednesday at Vile Parle Seva Samaj Crematorium at 3:30 p.m.
The scene outside the building was chaotic.
“We are big fans of hers and she means the world to us. We won’t go until we see her and pay our last respects. We have waited for two days. We can wait for another two days,” said 20-year-old Aditya Iyer.
He said he, along with his family, had come all the way from Chennai to see Sridevi, who originally hailed from Tamil Nadu.
Rahul Dixit, a resident of Lokhandwala, said, “I just live across the street and I did see her a couple of times earlier. To see her coming in an ambulance is just unbelievable and heartbreaking.”
To think that Sridevi is dead is something “we can’t believe”, he said.
The area outside Sridevi’s building was barricaded from both sides with heavy police presence around it.
“Police should cooperate with us. We are here to see her for the last time. We won’t come tomorrow,” said a fan, who despite repeated efforts by policemen refused to leave.
Two police vans were stationed outside her house to control the fans who came in large numbers to get a glimpse of their favourite star.
A police official said they will be providing security the entire night and are expecting “a large crowd tomorrow.”
“We have provided additional security at the residence in order to avoid a law and order situation,” said Mumbai police spokesperson, Deepak Devraj.
Around 100 policemen were deployed near the building tonight and around 250 cops will be deployed tomorrow at the house where her body will be kept for paying final tribute to the departed soul, said a police official.
“The same number of policemen will be part of the funeral procession,” he said.
The fans, however, were not deterred by the heavy security presence and were seen jostling near the building premises.
Sridevi passed away late Saturday night at a hotel room in Dubai where she, along with the entire Kapoor clan and a host of Bollywood celebrities, had gone for the wedding of her nephew Mohit Marwah.