Mumbai, May 1: Actor Bikramjeet Kanwarpal, who has appeared in films like "Page 3" and " 2 States" as well as popular television show "Adaalat", has died due to coronavirus-related complications. He was 52.
The actor, who was admitted in a city hospital here, passed away on Saturday morning.
"He was admitted to hospital ten days ago at Seven Hills, he was later shifted to ICU as his condition worsened. He passed away today morning at around 5 am," Kanwarpal's close friend Himanshu Dadbhawala told PTI.
After retiring from the Indian Army, Kanwarpal made his acting debut in early 2000. His other movie credits include "Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year", "Jab Tak Hai Jaan", "Aarakshan" and "The Ghazi Attack".
On television, some of his noteworthy performances were in Anil Kapoor-starrer "24", "Adaalat", Diya Aur Baati Hum" and "Yeh Hai Chahatein".
He was last seen in Disney Plus Hotstar web series "Special Ops".
Kanwarpal is survived by his parents.
Soon after the news of the actor's demise, several cine personalities took to Twitter to pay tributes to one of the most "disciplined, energetic and positive man".
Actor Neil Nitin Mukesh said Kanwarpal's sudden death has left him heartbroken.
"Extremely sad news . I've known Major Bikramjeet for so many years. He and I have worked on so many films together. The last being Bypass Road. Such a fantastic, encouraging and energetic human being he was and will always be remembered as. #RIP My dear friend will miss you," he wrote.
Music composer-singer Vishal Dadlani called him a man of dignity.
"A man who lent dignity to everything he did, #BikramjeetKanwarpal carried the Fauji stamp. Jai Hind, Sir," he said.
Actor Siddhant Kapoor shared a photograph of him on his Instagram Stories.
"I'm so sorry major! Will have dinner with you on the other side some day! Love you may your beautiful soul RIP thank you for serving the nation, lost a friend and a co-star," he wrote.
Rohit Bose Roy remembered Bikramjeet for his jovial nature.
"And we lose another one... The happiest, most gentlemanly, always positive and smiling Major Bikramjeet... RIP," he said.
Actor Bidita Bag said he was a disciplined man while serving in the army and also as an actor.
"As an army officer he religiously served India. He was a disciplined man in his previous post as also in his current thespianic art. He was lively, vibrant, full of energy. My grief goes boundless that I would ever never get him as an inspiring co-actor. RIP #BikramjeetKanwarpal," she said.
Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit also paid homage to the actor.
Sad to hear about the demise of actor Major Bikramjeet Kanwarpal this morning due to #Covid. A retired army officer, Kanwarpal had played supporting roles in many films and television serials. Heartfelt condolences to his family & near ones," he wrote.
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New Delhi, May 16: The Centre directed Uttar Pradesh and Bihar on Sunday to prevent dumping of dead bodies in the Ganga and its tributaries, and focus on their safe disposal and a dignified cremation after corpses were seen floating in these rivers following a spurt in the number of coronavirus cases.
At a review meeting conducted on May 15-16, the Centre said dumping of dead bodies and partially burnt or decomposed corpses in the Ganga and its tributaries has recently been reported, which is "most undesirable and alarming".
"Namami Gange directs states to prevent dumping of dead bodies in the Ganga and focus on their safe disposal and providing support for ensuring dignified cremation," the Jal Shakti Ministry said.
The state pollution control boards were directed to monitor the water quality more frequently in consultations with the health departments.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was assigned the task of overall monitoring, providing guidance to the state pollution control boards and taking up advanced analysis in the matter.
Support for cremation needs to be given top priority. Effective implementation of the government orders needs to be ensured. No loss of time should take place in implementation, the ministry said.
An advisory was issued by Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga, to the district magistrates, who are also the chairpersons of the district Ganga committees, on May 11.
This was followed up by a letter the next day to the chief secretaries to prevent the dumping of dead bodies in the river and ensure enforcement of the government guidelines on the cremation of COVID-19 victims.
The letter also advised the states to provide financial assistance as well as regulate the rates for the cremation or burial process.
On May 15, the steps taken in this regard in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were reviewed at a meeting chaired Pankaj Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti, and further action points were decided.
Highlighting the instructions already given, Kumar had called for expeditious action and underscored the need to give equal attention to such incidents in urban and rural areas along the Ganga and other rivers.
"Stopping of dumping of dead bodies as well as their safe disposal and protection of water quality have to be ensured on a war footing. After knowing the progress from the states, the CWC (Central Water Commission), the CPCB and the state pollution control boards would also be giving their feedback and action plans," he had said.
Mishra stated that the situation is being monitored and follow-up action is being taken in several districts such as Unnao, Kanpur rural, Ghazipur and Balia in Uttar Pradesh and Buxar and Saran in Bihar.
However, some cases have also been reported from other districts. He asked the state missions to keep an eye on the situation.
Mishra emphasised the need to strengthen enforcement, maintain vigil and take proactive action to facilitate and support the families for the cremation of the bodies and asked the state missions to specifically report on this.
"If needed, the project directors can assess and also give support to the district Ganga committees for this out of the NMCG funds available with them, while keeping the NMCG informed," he said.
Rajnish Dubey, Additional Chief Secretary, Urban Development, and Anurag Shrivastav, Principal Secretary, Jal Shakti and Project Director, State Ganga Mission, represented Uttar Pradesh in the meeting.
Shrivastava said all the district magistrates have been alerted about the issue and patrolling is being carried out to prevent dumping of dead bodies in the Ganga.
He also informed that 13 crematoria under Namami Gange, in addition to the existing ones, have been made available for the cremation of dead bodies.
It was informed that orders have been issued for financial support for cremations in urban areas. Dubey said similar orders for a financial support of Rs 5,000 have been issued by the Panchayati Raj department for rural areas and the SDRF and other forces have also been asked to carry out patrolling.
Anand Kishore, Principal Secretary, Urban Development and Project Director, State Ganga Mission, Government of Bihar, informed that it has been decided that the cremation or burial expenses of those dying due to COVID-19 will be borne by the state government.
He added that even if the deceased did not have a COVID-positive report but showed symptoms of the disease, the family will be offered this support.
He also said patrolling is being done to prevent further dumping of dead bodies in the river, especially in districts like Buxar and Saran (Chhapra).
CWC Chairman S K Halder informed that they are monitoring the flow and the water quality of the river through their stations and will further increase the frequency.
CPCB Member Secretary Prashant Gargava said the board has forewarned all water monitoring stations along the Ganga and her tributaries. The periodicity of testing the water quality has also been increased.
Debashree Mukherjee, Additional Secretary with the Jal Shakti Ministry, stated that besides an urgent assessment of the risks to the riverside communities by the pollution control boards, there is a need to raise awareness on the dos and don'ts as regards the use of river water and to prevent such incidents of dumping of bodies in the river.