Security tightened across Maharashtra as thousands turn up for Bal Thackeray's last journey
Tens of thousands of supporters of former Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray are teeming into Mumbai to attend his funeral to be held later this evening.
The funeral procession would leave Thackeray's Bandra home, 'Matoshree', at around 8 a.m. A truck will carry his body to Mahim Causeway, then to Sena Bhavan, the Shiv Sena headquarters in Dadar, where Thackeray's fans and friends, prominent leaders as also Sena workers are expected to gather to pay their last respects.
Thereafter, according to television channel reports, the cortege will be taken to the Meena Tai statue in Dadar and finally to Shivaji Park, the place from where Thackeray launched the Shiv Sena during a massive Dussehra rally in 1966.
Thackeray's body will be kept in state at the Shivaji Park till 5 p.m. for people to pay their respects and his last rites will be performed at 6 p.m.
Security has been tightened across Maharashtra to prevent any untoward incident that arise as news of Thackeray's death filters through. In Mumbai, 48,000 security personnel have been roped in to maintain a tight vigil during the day of the funeral.
At Matoshree, presently, there is a three-tier security that includes the Mumbai Police in the first layer, the Rapid Action Force (RAF) in the second and Shiv Sena volunteers in the third.
Most forms of public transport in the city have been ordered off the roads for the day, but buses have been commandeered to ferry people wishing to pay homage to their iconic leader.
Thackeray died late on Saturday afternoon after a prolonged illness. He was 86.
Till late in the night, there was a crowd of about 6,000 people at Matoshree. About 2,000 cops have been posted there.
Today, at every 100 metres along the route of the funeral procession, 25 policemen will be deployed. The police has issued a traffic advisory and suggested that people stay home, unless absolutely necessary.