Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, whose condition turned critical last night, is showing signs of improvement and has been taken off the life support system, party spokesman Sanjay Raut said today.
No medical bulletin on the ailing 86-year-old leader's condition has been issued as yet, but one of the doctors attending on him said Thackeray was still being administered oxygen.
"He is being given oxygen and his condition is still not good," the doctor, who did not want to be identified, said.
However, Mumbai witnessed a near shutdown with shops remaining closed and people preferring to stay indoors.
The city is on the edge as there is the constant fear of violence erupting in different parts.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has been continuously monitoring law and order situation in the state in view of Thackeray's condition
On Wednesday night, hotels in Navi Mumbai were hurriedly shut after news about Bal Thackeray’s ill-health spread. Apparently, cops were requesting customers to finish their dinner quickly and leave in a bid to avoid untoward incidents.
While many shops in Thane, a Sena stronghold, downed their shutters, vegetable markets remained open.
Shop owners complained of low footfall on Wednesday, the eve of Bhaubeej, which is usually a good day to make profits. Roads too look deserted.
"Usually we have no time to sit on this festive day, but today it was completely opposite. We observed a low footfall today (Thursday). We are hoping to see an improvement by afternoon," said a sweet shop owner from Thane.
In areas like Kandivli and Borivali, where there is a Shiv-Sena-BJP combined presence, several shops were closed except for some general and medical stores.
In many places across Mumbai, petrol pumps also remained shut, according to sources.
Late Wednesday, Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray, appealed to all party activists to "remain calm" and ensure that the image of 'Matoshree' (the Thackeray residence) is not spoiled.
Union Minister Sharad Pawar, BJP chief Nitin Gadkari, party's deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, actors Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt, filmmakers Madhur Bhandarkar and Ashok Pandit and industrialists Rahul Bajaj and Venugopal Dhoot visited 'Matoshree' to inquire about Thackeray's condition
Vehicular movement was unhampered today morning as police had arranged diversions to avoid traffic jams at the Kala Nagar junction leading to Matoshree.
According to latest inputs, security has been beefed up around Matoshree and people are not allowed within 200 metres of it.
President Pranab Mukherjee too has cancelled his two-day trip to Maharashtra.
(With inputs from agencies)
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