The Mumbai police has issued an advisory –
“Citizens should only step out of houses only is there is an emergency. Avoid Western Express Highway. Certain restrictions on traffic movements in the city especially from Bandra to Dadar. Only essential travel/commute is advised. An appeal is made to people to maintain calm and peace.”
Most public transport have vanished from the streets.
Thackeray to be cremated Sunday evening
The mortal remains of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray will be consigned to the flames Sunday evening at the crematorium beside Shivaji Park, revered as ‘Shiv Tirth’ by Shiv Sainiks in Maharashtra, a party official said.
“Thackeray’s body is at present kept at Matoshri. Tomorrow morning, around 7.30 a.m., it will be taken to Shiv Sena Bhavan for party workers to pay their respects. From there, it will be taken to Shivaji Park where the public can pay their last respects from 10 a.m.,” party MP Sanjay Raut told mediapersons Saturday evening.
Matoshri, the Thackeray residence, is in Bandra East in central Mumbai while Shivaji Park, a sprawling historic ground and cradle of Indian cricket, is in Dadar West, barely six km from Bandra.
Elaborate arrangements were being made by an army of workers at Shivaji Park for the sea of humanity expected Sunday, also a holiday.
Mumbai Police are also making fool−proof security arrangements in Bandra, along the entire route to Shiv Sena Bhavan, the party headquarters in Dadar West, and to the Shivaji Park.
Raut said public ‘darshan’ would be allowed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Shivaji Park. Later, the funeral will be held at crematorium nearby.
He again appealed to all grieving party activists to “maintain peace and remain calm” in the wake of the tragedy that has befallen the party and the Thackeray family.
Chaos in Mumbai airport
The Mumbai International airport is in a state of chaos since all pre-paid taxis and cabs have been cancelled and taken off the roads. The passengers have been left stranded. They are being told that buses will take them to railway stations and from there it is up to them to make their way wherever they want to go.
This is a complete failure in terms of management by the Mumbai government. The Mumbai airport is an International airport and the safety of the passengers, many of whom are visitors to our country, is paramount.
An odd moment or the beginning of the unraveling?
Huge crowds are beginning to arrive at Matoshree and the police is struggling to maintain control. Their strength has been increased and reports indicate that outside security has also been called in.
The Shiv Sena has repeatedly called for calm, but a sense of fear continues to hang over the entire affair.
Bal Thackeray’s funeral plans for Sunday -
The body will leave Matoshree at 7am tomorrow morning. It will be taken to Sena Bhavan by 10 am. It will be kept there for darshan up to 5 pm. Then his funeral will be held in 7.00 pm in Shivaji park – the symbolic center of the Shiv Sena, where the party was first established in 1966.
Sushma Swaraj said -
There are few persons in the world who have the courage to speak what they believe is right. Balashaeb was once such person. His personality and his legacy is as tall and broad as the Himalayas
Calm spreads across Mumbai, the after effects of the days of dress rehearsals the city has been having for days. The Sainiks have apparently taken the message that any violence would be a dishonor to Bal Thakeray’s legacy.
The violent legacy of the Shiv Sena is on hold for now.
The Kalanagar residents and other close relatives, friends and party leaders will have a more personal last meet with Bal Thackeray inside Matoshree itself. The body has been brought down to the ground floor for this homage.
Narendra Modi made a statement -
“Thackeray was like a fighter who fought bravely for his life. But in the end, we were all disappointed. Today we had to lose Balasaheb. His passing is like the end of an era. A good cartoonist, the editor of an independent newspaper, Balasaheb became a force in Indian politics.
He was a lively person. He fought battles with great ferocity and had equally powerful friendships. He kept himself out of politics but built a great political movement.
He never compromised in his patriotism. Thanks to his efforts, we all gained in a sense of patriotism.
I have always been his personal friend. The nation has lost, but I have personally lost a teacher. I pray for his family members at this time.”
The BJP has cancelled its dinner with the PM tonight and BJP leaders have rushed to Matoshree. BJP president Nitin Gadkari gave a statement extolling Bal Thackeray’s virtues. He hailed Thackeray’s fight for the Marathi people and took a look back at the alliance between BJP and the Shiv Sena.
He also mentioned that Maharastra should be come like Shivaji’s empire – a dream that Thackeray held apparently.
The media has been kept away from Matoshree to prevent them from broadcasting any images or a live feed. The reporters of the various news channels are currently camped out in a building opposite Thackeray’s residence.
The funeral of Bal Thackeray will be held at Shivaji Park tomorrow morning, Shiv Sena spokespersons have announced. The body will be in state from 7 am for up to 3.30 pm so that his followers may visit him one last time.
A broken looking Uddhav Thackeray emerged from Matoshree and has appealed to the Shiv Sainiks to remain calm. Other spokespersons have asked people not to crowd around the residence.
The situation in Mumbai is on everyone’s mind right now. How will the Shiv Sena react to his death?
In the Dadar area of Mumbai all the shops are already shut. The streets have a deserted look. But no actual signs of violence have been noticed, but every one is bracing for the worst.
After reports of his health improving in the past few days, Bal Thackeray passed away on November 17, 2012 of cardiac arrest. He died at 3.33 pm in the afternoon. His doctor, Dr Jalil Parkar, at his residence in Matoshree, said they were unable to revive him once his heart failed. He was 86.