In an unexpected turn of events, popular Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar passed away on October 29 and his demise came as a shocker for one and all. Leading film personalities across the country paid their final respects to the star actor at Kanteerava Studio where he was cremated with full state honours. Having said that, Superstar Rajinikanth has now opened up about Puneeth's death, expressing his heartfelt condolences. Rajinikanth addressed Puneeth as his child, adding that he is unable to get over the fact that Puneeth is no more. Talking in audio through Soundarya Rajinikanth's Hoote app, Rajinikanth said, "I have been recovering well, post my surgery that happened recently. When I was in the hospital, Puneeth Rajkumar passed away. I was informed about his death only after 2 days.

I was heartbroken and devastated after hearing the news. Puneeth was a child who grew up in front of my eyes. He was a talented actor who was also kind and caring to the people in society. It is unfortunate that he died at such a young age at the peak of his form. His loss is irreplaceable for the Kannada film industry. I don't have any words to console Puneeth's family. At this moment, I pray for his soul to rest in peace. நீ இல்லை என்பதை என்னால் ஏற்றுக் கொள்ள முடியவில்லை புனீத்… Rest in peace my child".

Rajinikanth is a good friend to Dr Rajkumar's family and Puneeth's demise must have been a personal loss for the legendary actor. On the professional front, Rajinikanth's latest release, Annaatthe is performing well at the box office, attracting the family audiences in large numbers. Annaatthe is directed by Siva and produced by Sun Pictures, featuring Nayanthara and Keerthy Suresh as the female leads. An official announcement on Rajinikanth's next film is yet to be made. For now, check out Rajinikanth's latest emotional statement on the demise of Puneeth Rajkumar here: