Shops were closed and movie screenings and Saturday night parties were cancelled — Mumbai came to a halt as soon as news of Bal Thackeray’s death spread.
Incidents of stone-throwing were reported in areas such as Kandivali, Bandra, Ghatkopar, Parel, Kalyan and Navi Mumbai.
While the traffic police started curbing the vehicular movement towards Matoshree, commuters experienced several obstructions on the eastern and western express highways.
“Everyone anticipated trouble, so we all left for our homes immediately,” said Taran Khetatwat, 24, who runs an advertising agency.
Passengers struggled to find ways to go home and buses and trains were packed. Several auto drivers and taxis exploited the situation. Commuters from Andheri were asked to stump up up to Rs. 1,000 to go to Malad, Goregaon and other suburbs.
From six o’clock on Sunday morning, no vehicle will be able to ply within 5 km of Shivaji Park, where his last rites would be performed. Also, the Western and Eastern express highways will be closed for commuters on Sunday.
Jewellery shops in the city will remain closed on Monday. The security forces in Maharashtra have been alerted.