Bal Thackeray’s funeral procession begins; stay home, say police; autos and taxis off roads
Mumbai: Bal Thackeray’s final journey from his Bandra home, ‘Matoshree’, to Shivaji Park has begun amid the presence of thousands of Shiv Sainiks, who have come from all across Maharashtra.
The Shiv Sena chief’s body is being carried in a hearse on a flower bedecked truck. There is a three-tier security around it – the Mumbai Police make up the first layer, the Rapid Action Force (RAF) is the second tier and Shiv Sena volunteers make up the third. Sena executive president and Bal Thackeray’s son Uddhav, his wife Rashmi and son Aditya are on the same truck. So are Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief and Bal Thackeray’s nephew Raj, his wife Sharmila and their children.
The body will be taken to Mahim Causeway, then to Sena Bhavan, the Shiv Sena headquarters in Dadar where Mr Thackeray’s A-list fans and friends, prominent leaders as also Sena workers are expected to gather, to the Meena Tai statue in Dadar and finally to Shivaji Park, where, at a massive Dussehra rally in 1966, Mr Thackeray had launched the Shiv Sena. Mr Thackeray’s body will be kept at Shivaji Park till 5 pm for people to pay their respects. His last rites will be performed there at 6 pm; he will also be given full state honours. Shivaji Park is the same place where Bal Thackeray had launched the Shiv Sena in 1966. (Follow our special coverage here)