Although the number of Shiv Sainiks sitting around the samadhi of Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s makeshift memorial saw a gradual decline as the day progressed on Saturday, the west end of the park continued to be a fortress, with several policemen on duty.
According to the police, around 50 personnel from the Shivaji Park police station and the Naigaon police headquarters monitored the crowd throughout the day from 9am. Although the crowd thinned from a 1,000 people in the morning to around 100 by Saturday night, the personnel kept up the guard.
“Three platoons of the state reserve police force (SRPF) were at work during the day on Saturday and one of them was allowed to leave on late Saturday. These platoons were deployed at Shivaji Park for the December 6 bandobast, and have been there since,” said Suresh Unawane, senior inspector, Shivaji Park police.
In addition to the SRPF, 50 personnel of the local arms unit of Naigaon police headquarters have also been deployed around the west end of the park. These personnel were relieved on Friday after the December 6 bandobast, but were called in again on Saturday morning.
“All the personnel are working on 12-hour shifts, and have timely replacements. They’ve been provided with water and sanitation facilities. No untoward incident has been reported so far,” said Unawane.