Mumbai stops for Bal Thackeray's funeral, thousands gather to pay tribute

In this file photo Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray waves at party workers gathered outside his residence Matoshree in Mumbai. PTI

Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, the architect of the sons-of-the-soil ideology in Mumbai, died after nearly four months of illness at his Mumbai residence, 'Matoshree' on Saturday.

Thackeray, who ruled the city for more than four decades, passed away after nearly four months of illness following a cardiac arrest. He was 86.

The funeral procession will begin from Thackeray's residence in Bandra. A vehicle with Thackeray's body will be taken in a vehicle 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 10am," party MP Sanjay Raut told mediapersons on Saturday evening.

Last rites will take place at a crematorium near Shivaji Park at 6pm this evening, according to reports.

According to authorities, at least five lakh people are expected to gather at Shivaji Park to pay their tributes.

On Saturday, his general physician, Dr Jalil Parkar, who has been treating him since 2009, announced his passing outside his home, where thousands of Sainiks had been keeping vigil following news of his ill-health for the past 72 hours.

"With great grief and sadness, we wish to inform you that Balasaheb Thackeray breathed his last at 3.30 pm following cardio-respiratory arrest. We could not revive him," Parkar announced at around 4.45 pm.


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