An emotionally charged city kept its peace on Sunday, no small thanks to the police force from Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai, and the special forces deployed across the city.
As lakhs of mourners joined the funeral procession from Matoshree to Shivaji Park on Sunday, the police manned almost every street and bylane, with everyone from newly recruited constables to joint commissioner of police (law and order) Sadanand Date and city police commissioner Satyapal Singh stepping out.
By 5am, 1,200 police personnel were outside Matoshree in Bandra (east). Special forces supplemented the personnel and moved in tandem with the funeral procession, which set out at 9.30am.
Top police officials had chalked out a detailed security map and ensured that police personnel were stationed at regular distances along the entire procession route, on overhead bridges, skyscrapers and on
flyovers, to monitor crowd movement.
Hemant Nagrale, joint commissioner of police (administration), and additional commissioners of police Vishwas Nagre-Patil and Rajvardhan Sinha were part of the procession from Bandra to Shivaji Park.
The security blanket was very tight around five kilometres of Shivaji Park, and no vehicles were allowed in this radius. By evening, the crowd at Shivaji Park, where the funeral took place, had swelled to around five lakh.
Joint commissioner of police Himanshu Roy and additional commissioner of police Pravin Salunkhe were at Sena Bhavan and Shivaji Park, until 7pm, after the pyre was lit and the crowds started to leave.