MUMBAI: India yesterday mourned Bollywood superstar Sridevi Kapoor after her death in Dubai aged just 54, as police in the emirate said she drowned in her hotel bathtub. The body of Sridevi, one of the biggest names in Hindi cinema, had been due to be brought back to Mumbai yesterday by charter flight. It was not immediately clear however when Dubai authorities would release it. Hundreds of heartbroken fans gathered outside her Mumbai home hoping to catch a final glimpse of the star before her cremation, now likely to take place today at the earliest.

Initial reports had cited a heart attack as the cause of her death late Saturday at a hotel in the emirate, where she had been attending a nephew’s wedding. “The death of Indian actress Sridevi occurred due to drowning in her hotel apartment’s bathtub following loss of consciousness,” Dubai police tweeted, citing an autopsy report. Police have now referred the case to the public prosecutor.

Sridevi, born Shree Amma Yanger Ayappan in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, appeared in around 300 films and was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award, for services to the movie industry. She made her acting debut at the age of four and her career spanned more than four decades. Sridevi worked in India’s regional Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam-language films before making her Bollywood debut in 1979. – AFP (See Page 15)