TNI Bureau: The final journey of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, who breathed his last at the age of 86 yesterday, has begun amidst tight security arrangement. Mumbai comes to a halt today, as all shops, business establishments and theatres remain closed. Over 90,000 auto-rickshaws and 35,000 taxis stayed off the roads.
An unprecedented crowd of 15-19 lakh thronged the streets to get a glimpse of the departed soul. According to veteran journalists and other people, who have witnessed the ups and downs of Mumbai, have confirmed that this is the largest funeral procession in Mumbai’s history.
People have gathered across the funeral route and the venue at Shivaji Park too. Over 20,000 policemen and 15 companies of CRPF are guarding the routes through which the funeral process is passing through. Bal Thackeray’s body was wrapped in a tri-colour. His body was taken out of Matoshree in a hearse decorated with flowers. Bal Thackeray’s nephew and MNS chief Raj Thackeray is leading a group of his party leaders and cadres to the Shivaji Park separately.
Bal Thackeray’s cortege will first reach the Sena Bhavan where the leading people would pay their last respect to the departed leader. Later, the body would be kept at Shivaji Park for public darshan. The funeral will be held at around 6 PM.