Media baron Ramoji Rao cremated with state honours

Media baron Cherukuri Ramoji Rao was cremated with state honours at Ramoji Film City on Sunday.

A contingent of Telangana police reversed their arms and then fired shots in the air as a mark of respect to the chairman of Ramoji Group of companies.

Ramoji Rao’s son and Eenadu Managing Director Cherukuri Kiran lit the funeral pyre amid the chanting of Vedic hymns by the priests, who conducted the rituals.

Former Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N. Chandrababu Naidu, leaders of various political parties, film personalities and eminent people from various walks of life attended the last rites.

Chandrababu Naidu shouldered the bier of the media tycoon when it was brought from his residence to Smriti Vanam, a place within the Film City earmarked by Ramoji Rao in his lifetime for his funeral.

Family members, relatives, friends and employees of Film City and various companies of Ramoji Group bid tearful adieu to Ramoji Rao, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 88 following a brief illness.

He breathed his last at a private hospital, where he was admitted on June 5 due to breathing problems.

Ramoji Rao was the founder of the largest circulated Telugu daily ‘Eenadu’, ‘ETV’ group of channels and Ramoji Film City, said to be the world’s largest film production centre.

Former Chief Justice of India N. V. Ramana, Telangana ministers Tummala Nageswara Rao, Seethakka and Jupally Krishna Rao, TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh, Raghurama Krishna Raju, BRS leaders E. Dayakar Rao, Nama Nageswar Rao, K. R. Suresh Reddy, Ravichandra, Congress leader V. Hanumantha Rao, BJP leaders G. Kishan Reddy, Bandi Sanjay Sujana Chowdary.

Three senior IAS officers from Andhra Pradesh government also participated in the last rites.

Veteran actor Murali Mohan, Filmmakers Boyapati Srinu, Suresh Babu and several others from the entertainment industry were present.

Born on November 16, 1936 in the Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, he launched Telugu daily ‘Eenadu’ from Visakhapatnam on August 10, 1974. In a short period, it became a leading daily.

He left an indelible mark on various sectors like media, films, food industry and also Telugu politics.

A first-generation entrepreneur, Ramoji Rao was the first to launch a 24-hour news channel in Telugu and other languages.

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