Leaders urge calm, but workers bring BEST bus in Thane to a halt

Within minutes of the news of Dhiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s death being declared, Thane came to a standstill. Shops shut down across Thane and auto rickshaw drivers stayed off roads. The streets of Thane, one of the Shiv Sena’s strongholds, bore a deserted look except for groups of people walking around due to lack of autorickshaws.

Shiv Sena workers stop a BEST bus at at Kopari naka, Thane
Shiv Sena workers stop a BEST bus at at Kopari naka, Thane. Pic/Sameer Markande

Sena members prohibited a BEST bus from entering Kopri Naka in Thane (east), whereas other important junctions in Thane witnessed heavy traffic jams.

Thousands of motorists and vehicle owners fled home fearing a major shutdown across the city. Many chose to leave their offices early to ensure a safe and early return home. Though Thane Motor Transport (TMT) buses were operational, their number was insufficient given the commuters at bus stops. Commuters waited in unending queues outside Thane railway station for buses and autorickshaws. Several commuters hitched rides from passing motorists to nearby destinations. Most shops, too, remained closed after receiving the news of Thackeray’s.

Several Sena members gathered outside the Sena office at Thane (W) awaiting instructions from senior leaders.

Banners offering condolences were put up at several junctions in the city.

With inputs from Sameer Markande

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