22:57 Chaos at Mumbai airport at Santacruz: From a Rediff correspondent:
In the wake of Mumbai virtually shutting down for Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray's cremation, chaos prevailed at the domestic airport in Santacruz on Sunday night.
As no pre-paid taxis were plying, autorickshaws and yellow-black taxis had a field day as they tried to make a fast buck.
The airport staff seemed clueless, there were traffic snarls with the stranded vehicles screeching their horns and the passengers were marooned.
Truly, a sorry sight!
22:32 Obama, Clinton in Myanmar tomorrow:
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will accompany President Barack Obama to Myanmar on Monday, and join his meetings with Burmese President Thein Sein and Chair of the National League for Democracy and Member of Parliament Aung San Suu Kyi.
Clinton will also accompany Obama on his travel to Phnom Penh, Cambodia November 19-20 to attend the US-ASEAN Leaders Meeting and the East Asia Summit.
21:08 ATMs still closed, few restaurants open: A Ganesh reports:
Buses continue to ply, albeit empty. Post Bal Thackeray's funeral, people stepped out of their houses. At Mahim Causeway, two-wheelers were out on the roads. ATMs remain closed.
A restaurant opened only to sell takeaway food. A paan-bedi shop was also open.
20:53 And yes, Ponty Chadha has finally fallen two notches below Bal Thackeray on Twitter.
20:52 Ponty kiling: 2nd postmortem ordered:
An update on the other big story that got mowed down by Bal Thackeray's death -- the killing of Ponty Chadha.
A "botched up" autopsy today led to the deferment of cremation of liquor baron Ponty Chadha with police insisting on a second postmortem and takng the body to AIIMS after doctors informed them that they have not removed three bullets from his body. Ponty was killed along with his brother Hardeep when both sides allegedly opened fire at each other yesterday at a farmhouse in south Delhi's Chhattarpur following a dispute over ownership over the property.
Fifteen people were picked up for questioning in the killing and a guard has been detained.
20:33 Panic buying in Mumbai, suburbs:
In Thane, a stronghold of the Sena, a few shops are open. A colleagues tells us that people are queuing up for necessities and stocking up on provisions. Two words that describe it: Panic buying.
That's also because of persistent rumours that there will be a bandh tomorrow. Shops have remained shut for a day and a half (Saturday evening, all of today) after Thackeray's death.
In Nerul in suburban Mumbai, milk shops are now open. People on the streets are acting like they have virtually been let out of house arrest, which they have, says Monali Sarkar.
Bal Thackeray's Poisonous Legacies: One of them was making political violence so routine that it ceases to outrage. Read
Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt and his sister Congress MP Priya Dutt at the funeral. Pic: Satish Bodas
20:14 Taxis will ply tomorrow if city remains calm:
Some heartening news. Firstpost.com says that the Mumbai taxi association has announced that taxis will ply tomorrow if the situation remains calm. Taxis and autorickshaws were off the roads today in Mumbai.
Raj Thackeray breaks down when the police band play the Last Post. Pic: Satish Bodas
20:02 Jaideep A. Prabhu on Twitter: had my issues with BK Thackeray too, but this demonisation of him only shows media's ignorance and stupidity - of astronomical proportions.
(A sentiment that seems to be taking over Twitter).
Invictus: Uddhav Thackeray's personal secretary Milind Narvekar. at 5:50pm to day declared . I repeat, NO BANDH tomorrow in MH or Mumbai.
19:50 Prabhu Chawla tweets: Decision to bid farewell to Bal Thakerey with state honours( Read Tiranga) was taken by a secular Congress-led govt. It was a correct move.
Update on the strike tommorow: The BEST - the public bus service in Mumbai, will ply buses normally tomorrow. Taxi unions say they will decide on plying their vehicles depending on the situation in the city.
Taxis and autorickshaws stayed off the roads today, though BEST bus services were normal as were local trains. The Central Railway had cancelled the mega block today.
19:42 Thackeray's pyre at exactly same spot as rally dais:
Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray's funeral at the historic Shivaji Park ground in Mumbai was the first at a public space in Mumbai since independence.
"As far as I know, this is the first time since independence that a person has been cremated at a public platform in the city," 83-year-old former Mumbai Police Commissioner Julio Ribeiro told PTI.
Before Independence, freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak had been cremated at the famous Girgaum Chowpatty in south Mumbai on August 1, 1920.
Anticipating massive crowds, the Maharashtra government allowed the last rites of 86-year-old Thackeray to be performed at Shivaji Park, where he had addressed his followers on numerous occasions for over four decades.
The pyre was erected at the same place where the stage was set up for Thackeray's Dussehra rallies which he rarely missed.
Thackeray had missed the last such rally of his life on October 24 when he addressed his supporters through a video that gave hints of the firebrand leader's failing health.
19:28 Thackeray's docs, manservant with family :
In a touching gesture, the doctors who made a failed attempt to save Thackeray's life and who looked after him for years, were the first to pay floral tributes to him when his body draped in national flag and sporting a red Tilak and trademark dark glasses was kept on a stage before the final rites were performed.
Thackeray's servant Thapa, stood along with Uddhav and Raj, Sena patriarch's estranged son Jaidev and grandsons, as the family, united in grief, acknowledged condolences.
The end of an era. Pic: Satish Bodas
I have never seen such a vast ocean of humanity. And probably never will. It was unforgettable, says Rediff.com'
s Vaihayasi Pande Daniel
19:17 Shops, schools shut Monday, Sena denies bandh call:
Uddhav Thackeray's personal secretary Milind Narvekar said that Shiv Sena has not called a bandh either in Maharashtra or in Mumbai on Monday.
The Federation of Associations of Maharashtra has called upon its constituents and the trading community to observe a bandh in Maharashtra tomorrow as a mark of respect to Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray, who passed away yesterday.
In a statement here, FAM has appealed to all its constituents to observe 'Shradhanjali Day' tomorrow. "The state of Maharashtra and the trading community has lost a true friend and a well-wisher. Balasaheb was a great son of the soil and a true nationalist who minced no words to express his views," FAM president Mohan Gurnani said.
Various organisations of traders and dealers are affiliated to FAM, including Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) and markets dealing in grains, sugar, dry fruits, metal, iron and steel and chemicals.
19:08 No signs of people dispersing from Shivaji Park as yet.
A moment that will be remembered from today, is the apparent warmth between Raj and Uddhav Thackeray. Remember, Raj had walked out of Shiv Sena and formed his own outfit, after Thackeray annointed Uddhav his successor in 2004 and the bitterness between the two families is well known. But today, Raj broke down when the last post was sounded and the pyre lit.
In fact, the MNS boss was a frequent visitor to Matoshree during Thackeray's illness. He also drove Uddhav to the hospital and was present during the two angioplasty sessions he had to undergo to remove coronary blockages.
Too soon look at the political fallout of this.
18:57 Factoid according to PTI: Bal Thackeray's funeral is the first state public funeral after Bal Gangadhar Tilak's in 1920.
18:55 In an aside, Ponty Chadha still ahead of Bal Thackeray on Twitter.
Samar Halarnkar tweets: Why would more people not turn into bigots and if this is the send off they are likely to get? So you live by the saffron, preach it all your life but die with the Tiranga. Hmmm.
18:41 Schools to remain closed tomorrow:
Schools in Mumbai, which were to reopen after the Diwali break tomorrow, will remain closed. Wholesale and retail jewellery shops will also remain closed. The school bus association has also decided to keep their buses off the roads tomorrow.
18:35 Small stampede at Shivaji Park:
And the actual test for the Mumbai police begins now. Crowd dispersal. Prasanna Zore
reports that there is a stampede like situation as two sections of the crowd move in opposite directions. Police, thankfully, bring back some semblance of order.
18:29 Thackeray consigned to flames :
And that always poignant scene of a person holding the urn on his shoulder and going around the funeral pyre. Uddhav circles the pyre while holding a fire brand behind his
back. The water falling from the urn signifies life leaving its vessel.
18:23 Uddhav Thackeray lights the funeral pyre. Raj weeps silently next to him. Absolutely beautiful shlokas being sung by a classical singer as Bal Thackeray's body is consigned to flames.
18:17 The sun sets on Mumbai and as naysayers want to believe, on the Sena. Udhav walks around the pyre as priests chant the funeral rites. Thackeray's body is now entirely covered in sandalwood logs.
18:14 The Thackeray grandchildren breakdown as the priests begin chanting the funeral prayers. As does Uddhav's wife, Sharmila.
18:11 Jaydev Thackeray is back on the scene. Sandalwood logs being placed on the body. Cries of "Balasaheb Amar Rahe" and Parat Ya Parat Ya... Uddhav composed, but closes his eyes briefly and looks heavenwards. Jaydev is also performing the last rites.
Patcy N reports that you can also hear people wailing, "Who will look after us now." That's a question that besieges the Sena as well and not just mourners.
18:05 Draped in saffron, a colour that he espoused all his life, Bal Thackeray begins his last journey. Uddhav performing the last rites. Jaydev Thackeray cannot be seen
-- Prasanna Zore
18:02 The first sandalwood log being laid on Bal Thackeray's body to the signs of Parat Ya Parat Ya.
18:00 Raj Thackeray in tears as the Last Post plays :
And the Last Post, the traditional salute to the fallen is being played out. Everyone, all the lakhs (figures still guestimates -- but expected to be around 12 lakh) stand to attention. People wiping their tears silently.
Raj Thackeray in tears as the Last Post plays.
17:54 Uddhav, Jaidev, Aditya begin last rites : Jaidev Thackeray,
the estranged son of Bal Thackeray is at hand next to Uddhav and Aditya. What is now happening is the purification of the funeral pyre. Thackeray has not been laid on the pyre as yet. Smita Thackeray's son Rahul is also with the men of the family.
Champasingh Thapa, Thackeray's personal attendant for the past 30 years next to the body.
Mourners shot Shiv Sena zindabad, Balasaheb Parat Yaa. Sanjay Dutt seen behind Raj Thackeray. Bal Thackeray was intrumental in getting the actor released from jail for his alleged involvement in the 1993 bomb blast case.
17:48 Uddhav, Jaidev, Aditya begin last rites :
Women standing close to the body break down at seeing their leader lying dead. Patcy N
reports that there are small pockets of chaos at Shivaji Park where huge screens are showing the event. People have been throwing bottles in frustration. Savera R Someshwar
reporting from Shivaji Park spoke to a Sainik who said he had been waiting there since 9 am. They are upset that darshan has been stopped.
A moment of tension for the cops as announcer asks cops to move away from the area where Thackeray's body lies and create a security ring around the body, reports Prasanna Zore.
Patcy N and Savera R Someshwar reports that Sainiks are asking the police to get off the platform and form a cordon around the body.
17:33 OK, the darshan has been stopped now, reports Patcy N from Shivaji Park. Uddhav and his son Aditya folding their hands and looking to the heavens.
Estranged sister-in-laws Sharmila and Rashmi Thackeray sit next to each other. Thackeray's body has still not been placed on the pyre. It's on a platform, next to the pyre.
17:29 The Tricolour has now been taken off from Thackeray's body and folded carefully by the police. The body now lies next to the pyre. People still filing in to pay their last respects. If the schedule is kept to, Thackeray will be cremated at 6 pm, just 30 minutes from now.
17:26 BJD's Jay Panda, Mahesh Manjrekar, Supriya Sule, Shreyas Talpade, Shaina NC, Madhur Bhandarkar, Kripashankar Singh, Jaywantiben Mehta, Ram Naik, Sardar Tara Singh have paid their respects. All of these are within touching distance of the body.
Earlier, there was a moment of chaos as everyone made a dash for the queue. Photographers perched at vantage positions (few and far between) to get those pictures for tomorrows papers.
17:13 So far, there has been complete order at Shivaji Park. Raj and Uddhav stand next to each other at the end of the queue and accept condolences from the VVIPs.
17:09 Since Thackeray is being given a state funeral, his body was carried in to Shivaji Park by the Mumbai police, led by procession.
LK Advani lays a wreath at Thackeray's feet, Sharad Pawar, Nitin Gadkari, Chhagan Bhujabal lay wreaths and flowers. Prithiviraj Chavan following Gadkari in the queue. Maneka Gandhi, Manohar Joshi, Prakash Javadekar follow...
17:06 Crowd cries Amar Rahe as body reaches Shivaji Park:
Raj Thackeray touches BJP senior leader LK Advani's feet and then spoke to Sushma Swaraj.
The body is laid on the pyre, which would be lit in an hour. Crowd gets emotional renting the air with Amar Rahe Amar Rahe, reports Prasanna Zore.
Former Sainik Sanjay Nirupam and other VVIPs walk past the body.
16:53 Raj Thackeray arrives :
Uddhav's son Aditya and wife Rashmi, Thackeray's daughter-in-law Smita at Shivaji Park. The body held aloft by the the Mumbai police has already reached ahead of the family.
Marathi actor Milind Gunaji has also reached.
Raj Thackeray and Manohar Joshi have just entered Shivaji Park.
VHP's Praveen Togadia, Subhash Chandra of Zee TV
Bal Thackeray's body will be kept at Shivaji Park till 6 pm. New arrivals include Nana Patkar, BJP's Smrit Irani.
Thackeray's body is now being carried into Shivaji Park. He will be consigned to flames at 6 pm.
16:37 ABP News tweets: Narendra Modi will not visit Mumbai for Bal Thackeray's funeral.
16:36 Narendra Modi still missing :
Gujarat CM Narendra Modi is yet to arrive at Shivaji Park. Actor and former Maharashtra CM Vilasrao Deshmukh's son Riteish arrives. Prasanna Zore
says Amitabh Bachchan looks pensive as he waits with other VVIPs for the Thackeray's body to arrive. Perhaps his thoughts are with the late Sena leader.
This is what he tweeted on Thursday, when Thackeray was critically ill. (Though the Sena insisted that Thackeray was stable).
"When I fought for my life after 'Coolie' accident, he came to visit me
in hospital, with a cartoon he had drawn - Yamraj defeated !
- God of Death, defeated by me..wish I was as proficient a cartoonist
as he, for tonight I would wish to draw that for him."
16:26 VVIPs at Shivaji Park:
Videocon group boss Venugopal Dhoot (he also met the Thackerays at Matoshree when the Sena supremo was unwell), BJP's Jitendra Awhad, NCP's Chhagan Bhujbal and Praful Patel, BJP's Gopinath Munde, Prakash Javadekar take their seats at Shivaji Park.
Pritish Nandy tweets: For those criticising my views on #BalThackeray just watch the crowds. He was one Indian leader who never had to hire crowds.
16:19 Amitabh, Ambani, Advani at Shivaji Park:
And the bigwigs arrive: Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Ambani at Shivaji Park, Sharad Pawar, Rajeev Shukla at Shivaji Park. Arun Jaitley, Maneka Gandhi, LK Advani have also reached.
The funeral procession is a few metres away from the cremation ground.
BJP president Nitin Gadkari, spokesperson Prakash Javadekar, senior leader Shahnawaz Hussain and state BJP president Sudhir Mugantiwar arrive at Shivaji Park.
A software professional and an avowed 'Marathi Manoos' (not necessarily in that order) on what Thackeray's death means to him. Read Sumit Rajwade's
outpourings on Rediff.com.
At Shivaji Park, volunteers are scattering rose petals on the funeral pyre. Others are sprinkling the flowers with water so that they don't wilt in the heat.
So what happens on Sundays and Sena-called bandh days in Mumbai? Gulli cricket, of course, and Thackeray's funeral is no exception. Just a few streets away from where millions follow his funeral cortege, this cricket team in Mahim are making the best of empty streets.
Thackeray would have approved; he loved the game.
-- Vaihayasi Pande Daniel.
Building with a view. Mumbaikars line up for a last look at Bal Thackeray's funeral procession en route to Sena Bhavan. Pic: Sanjay Sawant.
15:45 Family enters Sena Bhavan with Thackeray's body:
Bal Thackeray's body is now inside Sena Bhawan, the headquarters of the party.
The family is inside with the body.
Meanwhile, outside Sena Bhavan, a path has been cleared for the cortege to enter the 100 metre-distance to Shivaji Park.
15:38 Dr Jalil Parkar, who was one of the doctors attending to Bal Thackeray when he was critically ill over the last few days, is at Shivaji Park, reports Prasanna Zore.
Thackeray was a deeply divisive and polarising figure. Vir Sanghvi's must-read
15:15 Only family to accompany Thackeray's body in Sena HQ:
The funeral procession is way beyond schedule; it's already past 3 pm. Which means there will be barely any time for mourners to pay their respects at Shivaji Park. The body is supposed to be taken inside Sena Bhawan for 30 minutes and is supposed to be a private moment for the family.
Bal Thackeray's tricolour-draped body. Pic: Rajesh Karkera
15:07 Thackeray's cortege reaches Sena Bhavan:
The funeral procession of Bal Thackeray is 10 m away from Sena Bhavan. Sea of people here and it is extremely difficult for the cortege to move. There is barely any standing space on the roads outside Sena Bhavan. The body is expected to be taken in to the Sena HQ for 30 minutes. Only family and senior leaders of the Sena will be around.
At Shivaji Park, chanting and singing of bhajans continue...
14:52 An_AristocraticRowdy tweets: "paarthiv sharir" is wearing sunglasses ! RIP balasaheb.
14:50 Bal Thackeray will be cremated with full state honours at Shivaji Park today. The body will be laid on a sandalwood pyre (just like Indira Gandhi's). The pyre is on a marigold-bedecked platform. The scheduled time for the funeral is 6 pm.
14:46 Mukesh Ambani: Deeply saddened by death :
Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has condoled the demise of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray saying the country has lost a great leader.
"I am deeply saddened by the passing away of Balasaheb Thackeray, the founder-president of the Shiv Sena. The nation and the state of Maharashtra have lost a great leader, whose robust patriotism matched his soaring popularity.
"His clear thinking, inspiring oratory and commitment to cause endeared him to the masses," Ambani said in a statement today. Read
: Bal Thackeray slams Mukesh Ambani
The funeral procession on its way to Shivaji Park. Pic: Savera R Someshwar
14:38 Complete bandh, empty roads in Mumbai:
Here's what Mumbai looks like today: Shops, restaurants, hotels, cinema halls, malls and other commercial establishments remained shut and private vehicles, taxis, autorickshaws remained off the roads. Medical shops in the city as well as in neighbouring Thane were also closed. Citizens also found it difficult to get milk and vegetables.
About 20,000 police personnel are keeping a strict vigil in the metropolis to maintain law and order.
"No violence has been reported in the city so far," a police officer said. "Nobody has been asked to shut their shops or malls. Everybody closed their shops voluntarily. Autorickshaws and taxis also voluntarily stopped plying on the roads," the officer added.
Except for the civic body's BEST buses and suburban railways, no transport is available for the commuters.
14:24 Dilip Kumar cancels 90th birthday celebrations:
Veteran actor Dilip Kumar, who will turn 90 on December 11, has shot down reports that he will have a grand bithday bash, insisting he and wife Saira Banu are yet to recover from the demise of Balasaheb Thackeray, Yash Chopra and Rajesh Khanna.
"It is appalling how few in the print media take the liberty nowadays to print quotes that spring from the imagination of the scribe. It shocked me and Saira to read newspaper reports with imaginary quotes from Saira about plans to celebrate my birthday! "We have yet to recover from the shock of the passing away of my dear friend Yash Chopra who was by my side when I blew away the candles on my birthday cake last year and stayed on till the wee hours, sharing the family's happiness," the 89-year-old cinema legend wrote on his blog.
14:18 Supporters on trees, cortege yet to reach Sena HQ:
Raj Thackeray, who was overseeing the funeral arrangements at Shivaji Park is now back home at his Dadar.
Meanwhile, Rediff.com's Prasanna Zore
reporting from Sena Bhawan says supporters have found themselves vantage spots on trees before the funeral procession reaches there.
14:10 Mumbai Police commissioner Satyapal Singh, whose security arrangements today is remarkable, has cancelled his daughter's wedding reception party this evening.
Meanwhile, liquor baron Ponty Chadha,
who was shot dead by his brother yesterday, continues to trend above Bal Thackeray.
14:05 The Shiv Sena has asked volunteers to help the police clear the road outside the Sena Bhawan. To give you an inkling of how difficult it is for the procession to pass through the city, it was supposed to reach Sena Bhawan at 9 am; it's yet to reach five hours on.
The funeral procession is now at Citylight cinema in Matunga, which would be approximately a kilometre away from the Sena HQ -- Sena Bhawan. The cremation as you are aware, is scheduled at 6 pm.
The Mumbai Mirror page 1 today. That's a picture by Raghu Rai.
Uddhav's son Aditya and Tejas and Smita Thackeray (ex-wife of Thackeray's estranged son Jaidev) with the cortege, when the funeral procession went past Mahim. To Smita's left is her son Subhash (bearded). Pic: Reuben N V
13:28 Thackeray's cortege almost at Sena Bhawan:
Abhishek Singhvi: Saheb might be a hate figure for @sardesairajdeep. But I wonder how many will mourn the death of Rajdeep. RIP Balasaheb.
Sapna Agarwal: He went slowly, but I was still not prepared to say the final good bye.. Now will starve as we pay our condolences.. RIP Balasaheb Thackeray.
The man who inspired millions of meek Marathis to become 'Mi Marathi'
It was not in his roar, but in his silence he had the masses following him.. RIP Balasaheb.
@iamVickySingh: Never seen so much turnout before.A great leader like balasaheb .Salute sir,u were a true legend..Rip Balasaheb Thakreys.
@scratchysingh: Unknown number of people will die today because they will not be able to reach hospital. RIP Balasaheb.
Pic: Aditya Thackeray greets supporters this morning. Bal Thackeray's body wrapped in the tricolour can be seen.
How Bal Thackeray threw the INS Vikrant a lifeline Read more here.
12:58 Mobile, internet services hit in Mumbai:
Heavy cellphone traffic and SMSs in the aftermath of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's death affected telecom services in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra. Read more
12:55 Mystique of Bal Thackeray, problems his heirs will have to face:
Patrick French's piece for the Economic Times today. "Bal Thackeray was always easy to caricature, because he caricatured himself '" leering quizzically at us from in front of a photo of a tiger, posing theatrically in saffron beside a famous visitor, or gesturing ostentatiously from a carved throne. From the start of his political career, when he drew cartoons for the Free Press Journal in a booth alongside the young RK Laxman, he showed an ability to mix the comic with the cruel."
Read more here.
12:53 Traffic blocked at Tilak Bridge-Dadar TT, Annie Besant Road, Veer Savarkar Road, Mori Road till 10 pm.
Bal Thackeray's question to Times Now in an interview to Arnab Goswami a couple of years ago. When asked to comment that he held the remote control to Maharashtra politics, Thackeray said, "What is the difference between a remote control and a high command."
12:46 Raj already at Shivaji Park overseeing arrangements:
Raj Thackeray is at Shivaji Park overseeing the funeral arrangements. The body was supposed to have reached Shivaji Park at 10 am. The body was to be kept at Sena Bhavan for an hour. Sainiks have been asked to go on to Shivaji Park and not wait at Sena Bhavan
NDTV's Sreenivasan Jain tweets: Some clarifications on use of Shivaji Park: Mumbai police said given crowds/VIP's they cannot guarantee security in Dadar crematorium.
That's the picture of Sena Bhavan on the 15th when Thackeray took gravely ill. The Diwali festoons are yet to be brought down.
12:39 Body to be kept inside Sena Bhavan for few minutes:
Mourners carrying a giant saffron banner, said to be around a kilometre long. The funeral procession still on its way to Sena Bhavan, where the body is expected to be kept for a few minutes. The Shiv Sena Bhavan at Dadar, built in 1974 is where Bal Thackeray used to hold court every day. It is the headquarters of the Shiv Sena.
The old facade of the building was like a fortress, but it was done away with in the refurbishments a few years ago. The area around the Sena Bhavan is completely blocked to traffic. The body will be taken inside for a few minutes, but no mourners except for the family will be allowed inside.
Uddhav, Rashmi and the couple's younger son Tejas. Pic: Hitesh Harisinghani
Thackeray could organise, but lacked a vision and wisdom to take it further,' says Shreekant Sambrani. Read
the column on Rediff.com.
12:21 Bandh-like situation in Mumbai, but all is calm :
The body will be kept at Shiv Sena Bhawan for sometime to allow the party office-bearers to pay their last respects. If you're arriving at Mumbai today, what you should know is that there is a bandh-like situation in the city, with autos and taxis and call cabs off the road. However, local trains are working and there is has not been a single
At least 20,000 cops have are on the streets of Mumbai apart from companies of the RAF and the SRPF.
12:15 Rajdeep Sardesai tweets: Gave me an interview in 1988 as a cub reporter. Was generous with his time and thoughts. Offered me beer too! RIP.
12:12 Narendra Modi, Sushma Swaraj to be at funeral:
TV channels running images every few hours of Uddhav and his son Aditya Thackeray in tears when Bal Thackeray's body was brought out of Matoshree this morning.
Up ahead in the day, Gujarat CM Narendra Modi and BJP senior leader Sushma Swaraj will be at Balasaheb Thackeray's funeral. Swaraj told TV channels this morning that one of her biggest regrets has been that she did not meet the ailing Sena Supremo before he passed away. "I was to meet Balasaheb ji today at 12 pm. The irony of the turn of events is shocking," said said.
Immediately after his death, Swaraj had tweeted: Saheb was as tall and as firm as the Himalayas. I am terribly pained to hear that the Lion is dead.
11:55 Balasaheb is gone, Thackeray is alive:
Balasaheb Thackeray is dead; more or less. Actually less. This is because though Thackeary, aged 86, has passed away, Thackerayism will be very much around for decades to come. -- CP Surendran's blog on the Times of India. Read
11:53 At least 15 lakh people expected at Shivaji Park:
An official of the BMC, who declined to be identified, said that special arrangements were made for the first-ever public cremation in the city at Shivaji Park in view of the massive crowds expected to attend.
A home department official said that in view of the huge crowds likely to turn up for the sad event, it was decided to permit a public cremation at Thackeray's favourite spot, Shivaji Park, which he always referred to as 'Shiv Tirth' (Shiv pilgrim centre).
According to Mumbai police estimates, around 15 lakh people are expected to take part in the cremation Sunday. Starting with a funeral procession from Bandra east, there will be several thousands of viewers lining the streets to witness the procession; around half a million are expected to gather around Shivaji Park.
A video grab of the procession near Mahim causeway
11:47 Thackeray's cremation 1st public one since 1947:
Thackeray's mortal remains will be consigned to flames on a specially-erected public platform at the historic Shivaji Park, south-central Mumbai, on Sunday evening, marking the first time a public cremation has occurred in Mumbai since independence.
Supercop and ex-Mumbai Police Commissioner Julio Rebeiro (also a former ambassador) said there had been no instance of a public cremation in Mumbai, at least since Independence. Read more here.
11:43 Rediff.com's Ganesh Nadar reports that the Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani will halt at Andheri and Borivali today to pick up passengers.
Even after his death, that's Bal Thackeray's effect on Mumbai.
11:41 Thackeray thought beyond the obvious:
Bal Thackeray was my first friend when I arrived in Bombay in the winter of 1982. Thackeray disapproved of Bombay and called it Mumbai. But then he disapproved of many things, good and bad. -- Pritish Nandy's piece for the Hindustan Times. Read
Columnist and senior journalist Pritish Nandy was nominated to the Rajya Saba by the Shiv Sena.
Rediff.com's Sonil Dedhia reports that in spite of drinking water arrangements made by the Shiv Sena, there is an apparent shortfall. A tempo with mineral water canisters has been besieged by people causing a minor scuffle.
11:38 Sena gets special permission for funeral at Shivaji Park:
Scores of Shiv Sainiks have arrived in Mumbai from different parts of the state, largely from neighbouring Thane, Raigad, Pune, Aurangabad and Konkan region, which are the bastions of the saffron party, founded on June 19, 1966.
Lakhs of people were waiting since early morning to pay last respects to the leader, some even standing on the street poles. According to reports, hordes of people are arriving in the metropolis to attend the cremation of the Sena chief, to be held in the evening at 6 pm at the Shivaji Park, for which the Sena has taken special permission.
Bal Thackeray's flower-bedecked cortege on the way to Shivaji Park. Pic: Rajesh Karkera.
11:27 Funeral procession en route to Shivaji Park:
People have lined up on roads, flyovers, skywalks and balconies of their buildings to catch a glimpse of the Sena patriarch and pay homage to him. In view of the legions of crowds pouring in to pay their last respects to Thackeray, it is estimated that the funeral procession would take more than two hours to reach the Sena Bhawan (party headquarters) at Dadar. The cortege is now at the Bandra Worli Sea Link.
Empty streets at Mahim. Pic: Rajesh Karkera
Senior journalist and Dainik Divya Marathi chief editor Kumar Ketkar says this kind of a congregation has only been observed during the death of Babasaheb Ambedkar in 1956.
11:15 The funeral procession has now reached Mahim bridge, says Rediff.com's Savera R Someshwar. People throwing flowers on Thackeray's national flag-draped body.
11:13 Uddhav with hearse, Raj walks to Shivaji Park: Rediff.com's Savera R Someshwar
who is travelling with the cortege says she saw Manohar Joshi accompanying Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya and Bal Thackeray's daughter-in-law Smita in the truck which is carrying the Sena supremo's body.
10:54 Gambhir may be out of First Test:
PTI reports that India opener Gautam Gambhir flew back to Delhi before the fourth day's play began in the first Test against England following his grandmother's death.
The Indian team's media manager Vinod Deshpande told PTI that the opener took a flight to Delhi on Sunday morning after about his grandmother's death.
"I don't know when he will be back. It will depend on what happens today in the match," Deshpande said.
Reserve Ajinkya Rahane came in as the substitute for Gambhir when play resumed at the Sardar Patel Stadium.
10:33 Rupee worst performer globally during one-month period:
Amid re-ignited concerns over the macro-economic scenario in India and abroad, the rupee has again slipped below the 55-level against dollar, the largest fall among its major peers globally in the past 30 days.
As against the US dollar, the rupee has sharply fallen from 52.88 levels one month ago to 55.16 on Friday, marking a drop of over 4.2 per cent.
This is the largest fall vis-a-vis the US dollar in the past one month among 25 major currencies across Asia, Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
10:26 Tilak and Thackeray: Rediff.com's Sonil Dedhia
reports a conversation with Shiv Sainiks where they compared Balasaheb Thackeray to Lokmanya Tilak. The Lokmanya's funeral took place at Chowpatty, they said; Balasaheb's last rites will take place at Shivaji Park.Both public locations, indicating their importance in Maharashtra's history.
10:16 'How can they come to work without transport?':
An hour after Rediff.com's A Ganesh Nadar
's flight landed from Thiruvanathapuram, no sign of the luggage. Passengers calmly explain to each other, "How can they come to work without transport?"
10:08 Airport officials unusually helpful: Rediff.com's A Ganesh Nadar
reports from Sahar international airport: 'Airport officials helping people with their luggage and telling us that BEST and private buses are plying, but no cabs.'
10:00 Procession moves slowly towards Sena Bhavan:
The flower-bedecked truck with a huge photograph of Balasaheb Thackeray and a tiger makes it way slowly towards the party headquarters, accompanied by hundreds of Shiv Sainiks.
09:58 'Come on three bikes and take us home' : Rediff.com's A Ganesh Nadar
overheard this telephone conversation at the baggage carousel at the Sahar international airport: "Come on 3 bikes and take us home."
09:53 State funeral for Thackeray:
"The state government has announced that Balasaheb Thackeray will be accorded a State funeral," Maharashtra's Protocol Minister Suresh Shetty told PTI.
09:50 'Only big leaders will get to see him': Rediff.com's Savera R Someshwar
overheard a conversation between two Shiv Sainiks: 'We only wanted darshan
, but we may not be able to see our beloved Balasaheb. Only big leaders will get to see him.'
09:45 Even in death, Balasaheb wears his dark glasses :
Balasaheb Thackeray was spotted in one television grab wearing the dark glasses he preferred in recent years, possibly to guard his ageing eyes against the harsh glare of the television camera lights.
09:37 'Kon Ala Kon Ala' :
As the truck makes its way to Sena Bhavan, slogans rent the air.
'Kon Ala, Kon Ala, Shiv Senacha Wagah Ala' (Who has come? Who has come? The Shiv Sena's Tiger has come!)
09:31 The cortege leaves Kala Nagar:
The truck carrying Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray to Ssena Bhavan and Shivaji Park leaves Kala Nagar, making its way through the sea of humanity.
09:29 50-60 occupants on 'Mukhya Rath':
Some 50-60 people can be seen on the 'Mukhya Rath' (the truck carrying Thackeray's body). These include family members, senior Sena leaders and a dozen senior police inspectors.
09:29 A chair brought onto the truck:
Perhaps it is for Uddhav Thackeray, who is recovering from the cardiac procedure he underwent just two weeks ago.
09:25 Uddhav and his family at the forefront of the truck:
A grieving Uddhav Thackeray, his wife Rashmi, his sons Aditya and Tejas acknowledge mourners as announcements are made, asking people not to push, to avoid a stampede and women in the crowd fainting.
09:22 Two entrances at Shivaji Park for mourners:
Sonil Dedhia reports that there will be two entrances for mourners at Shivaji Park -- one from the Sena Bhavan side; the other from the Cadell Road (Veer Savarkar Marg) side.
09:20 Police officers now carry the body:
Police officers carried the body onto the truck, indicating that it is likely to be a state funeral for Balasabeb Thackeray who never held public office in his life.
09:19 Tricolour draped over Balasaheb's body:
Senior police officers, including Vishwas Nagre-Patil, draped Balasaheb Thackeray's body with the tricolour, and then saluted the Sena leader in what now seems indications of a state funeral.
09:15 Rashmi, Sharmila Thackeray on the truck:
Rashmi Thackeray, Udhav Thackeray's wife, and Sharmila Thackeray, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray's wife, can be seen on the flower-decked truck.
09:11 Udhav, son Aditya among Balasaheb's pall bearers:
Shiv Sena Working President Udhav Thackeray, who underwent angioplasty last fortnight, were among those who carried Balasaheb Thackeray's body from the family home, Matoshree, to the truck that will take the Sena supremo first to Sena Bhavan and then to Shivaji Park. Alongside him was his elder son Aditya.
09:07 Bal Thackeray's funeral procession begins:
Bal Thackeray's body is being brought out of Matoshree.
Uddhav Thackeray's wife Rashmi is urging supporters waiting outside to maintain calm
A sea of humanity is waiting outside Matoshree to catch a final glimpse of their leader.
09:04 If you are in Mumbai, avoid these roads today: If you are in Mumbai, avoid these roads today:
Veer Savarkar Road - no entry from 6 am to 10 pm; No parking allowed.
Annie Besant Road - no entry from 6 am to 10 pm; No parking allowed.
Mori Road - no entry from 6 am to 10 pm.
Babasaheb Worlikar Chowk - no entry from 6 am to 10 pm.
LJ Road - no entry from 6 am to 10 pm; No parking allowed.
Gokhale Road - no entry from 6 am to 10 pm; No parking allowed.
Tilak Bridge at Dadar TT - no entry from 6 am to 10 pm.
Ranade Road - No parking allowed.
NC Kelkar Road - No parking allowed.
Kataria Marg - No parking allowed.
Sayani Marg - No parking allowed
09:02 Tight security across Mumbai: Prasanna D Zore reports:
Raj Thackeray can be seen interacting with top Mumbai Police officials
Over 20,000 police personnel have been deployed across the city.
Besides, 15 companies of State Reserve Police Force and three contingents of Rapid Action Force have been deployed
08:55 Customised truck pulls into Matoshree:
Rediff.com's Prasanna D Zore reports:
A truck accompanied by a band has just pulled into Matoshree.
The truck has a slanted casket and two rows of eight chairs for the family and senior Sena leaders
No word yet on when the procession will begin
08:50 Sea of humanity near Matoshree:
Savera Someshwar reports: The areas around Kala Nagar, the artists colony where Balasaheb Thackeray lived for over four decades, were teeming with humanity as people gathered for a glimpse of the cortege as it made its way to Sena Bhavan, the party headquarters near Shivaji Park, where the Sena supremo will lie in state for a few hours today.
08:10 Raj Thackeray arrives at Matoshree:
Rediff.com's Prasanna D Zore reports: Bal Thackeray's nephew Raj and his wife have just arrived at Matoshree.
The funeral procession of the late Sena supremo will begin anytime now.
07:51 'Didi's no-trust: Good intention, poor tactic?':
The Pioneer newspaper believes 'Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's announcement on Saturday that her party will bring a no-confidence motion against the UPA Government during the Winter Session of Parliament has virtually torpedoed the Opposition game plan to embarrass the Manmohan Singh dispensation by forcing a division of vote on the contentious FDI in multi- brand retail.' Read more here
07:22 'Don't crowd Sena Bhavan; proceed to Shivaji Park':
Announcements are being made at Sena Bhavan requesting Sainiks to move towards Shivaji Park and not crowd Sena Bhavan, reports Sonil Dedhia.
All roads leading to Shivaji Park from Mahim have been cordoned off for other vehicles.
Many Sainiks were seen using ambulances as transport to Shivaji Park.
07:19 Milk, newspaper vendors on the job:
Even as the bylanes to L J Road, through which Balasaheb Thackeray's cortege will pass on Sunday morning have been cordoned off, Sonil Dedhia reports that milk and newspaper vendors in the Mahim area are functioning normally.
The roads have been cleaned with water for the Sena supremo's final journey.
07:04 it happens only in India :):
Arvind Kejriwal tweets this morning: '@ArvindKejriwal7Someone has created a fake Twitter ID in my name and is soliciting donations. Beware. This is my real I'd. Kindly RT. Arvind Kejriwal.'
06:58 Rajesh Karkera reports that a group of policeman stopped his car on the Bandra flyover, above the Thackeray home, and requested water. A pity that no one has given a thought to the policemen on duty.
06:55 Passengers bound for Mumbai despite transportation difficulties:
A Ganesh Nadar reports from Thiruvanathapuram airport: The Air India Express flight to Mumbai is packed to the brim. Not a single cancellation because Mumbai has shut down. Passengers look sleepy and certainly not worried about how they will get home from Sahar.
02:23 Arafat's grave being dug up:
Even as the death toll in Gaza, as a result of the Israeli air strikes, has mounted to 42, workers are opening the grave of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in the West Bank.
Work started on Saturday and is expected to take up to two weeks.
Arafat's remains are to be exhumed by French, Swiss and Russian investigators to check for the radioactive substance, polonium-210.
The investigation came after a Swiss lab this year discovered traces of the deadly isotope on some of Arafat's clothes, sparking suspicions that he was poisoned.
Arafat died in November 2004, a month after suddenly becoming ill.
02:20 Mumbai cable operators block entertainment channels:
We are getting word that many cable operators in the city are blocking entertainment television channels until Bal Thackeray's funeral concludes on Sunday evening.
Wonder if they will show the Motera Test, the best way to keep folks at home in our opinion.
Especially, if Ojha and Ashwin can spin Cook and Co out on the fourth day.
02:15 Poppy Capitalism:
In his column on Ponty Chadha
in the Asian Age, Ashok Malik makes the point that, 'The past 10-odd years have seen a dramatic and disturbing shift in the imagination of Indian capitalism. Chadha was a symptom of this.'
01:41 Shinde, Rane not to attend Thackeray funeral:
PTI reports: Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde will be unable to attend Bal Thackeray's funeral on Sunday as he needs to stay in Delhi.
An order was issued recently that in the absence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from Delhi -- due to his visit to Cambodia from Sunday -- either the defence minister, finance minister or home minister will stay in Delhi, official sources said.
As A K Antony, the defence minister, and P Chidambaram, the finance minister, are away from the capital, Shinde will need to stay in Delhi and not attend Thackeray's funeral.
Maharashtra Industries Minister Narayan Rane, a former Shiv Sena chief minister who broke away from the party, won't attend the funeral as he is abroad.
01:36 Thackeray's 2011 appearance at Shivaji Park:
Mail Today has posted a slide show
on Sena supremo Bal Thackeray's last appearance at a party rally last year.
This year's Dussera rally had a frail Thackeray addressing his supporters by pre-recorded video, asking them to back his political heirs.
01:32 Passengers stranded at airport:
With pre-paid taxis refusing to ply at Mumbai airport, passengers arriving in the city could not find transportation to go home.
Or if they did, they had to pay heftily for the privilege.
Read the Times report
on the troubles passengers faced after Mr Thackeray's death.
01:28 Rashmi Thackeray meets Sena corporators:
The Times of India reveals that Shiv Sena Working President Uddhav Thackeray was advised rest after he complained of exhaustion on Saturday morning.
The Sena's 110 corporators in the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation met Udhav's wife Rashmi instead.
When the Sena patriarch's end was near on Saturday afternoon, the Times reported, Uddhav, Rashmi, their sons Aditya and Tejas; Udhav's elder brother Jaidev and his wife; Jaidev's ex-wife Smita; Madhavi, Thackeray's eldest son Bindumadhav's widow; Thackeray's brother-in-law Chandrakant Vaidya and Sanjeevani Karandikar, the Sena supremo's only sister, were present by his bedside.
01:21 13 bullets pumped into Ponty Chadha:
The Hindu has a coherent account of how booze baron Ponty Chadha and his brother were killed in a shootout in Delhi on Saturday.
At stake was a 12 acre farmhouse which both brothers had squabbled over for years. On Saturday, the feud turned deadly
for the siblings who died in the crossfire.
01:18 Cops turn MHADA office into garrison :
Prasanna D Zore reports:
The Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority office at Kala Nagar, minutes away from the Thackeray home, has been turned into a garrison by policemen who have taken shelter on the MHADA premises, eating and taking a nap there.
00:22 Thackeray's last rites to be held at Shivaji Park:
The last rites of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray will be performed at Shivaji Park in central Mumbai, where he had addressed his followers for over four decades.
The mortal remains of the 86-year-old Sena patriarch will be taken from his residence at 'Matoshree' to Sena Bhavan in Dadar around 7.30 am. The body would be kept at Shivaji Park from 9 am for Shiv Sena workers to pay their last respects.
"The funeral would be held at Shivaji Park ground. We have received permission from the state government in this regard," Shiv Sena MP and party spokesperson Sanjay Raut told PTI.
According to Sena sources, there would be no funeral procession.
00:21 Funeral preparations begin, cops ask public to clear roads: Satish Bodas
reports: Preparations have started for the funeral of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray. Police have asked residents of Bandra, Mahim, Dadar, Shivaji Park areas to move vehicles parked on roads to make way for the cortege.