Leaders ask Sainiks to stay calm
Saturday for the Shiv Sena began with Rashmi Thackeray, wife of Shiv Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray, calling for a meeting of the party's 76 corporators at Matoshree.
She appealed to the corporators to concentrate on their work within their wards. They were given an update about Bal Thackeray’s health. “Rashmi vahini told us that Balasaheb’s health is improving now. So there was no need to stay outside Matoshree,” a Sena corporator said.
By afternoon however it became clear that something was amiss at the Sena supremo’s residence. Though the Sena chief passed away at 3.30 pm, his death wasn’t announced till over an hour later. At 3.45 pm, Sena MP Anil Desai, senior party leader Diwakar Rawte, and party secretary Vinayak Raut stepped out to take stock of the situation outside.
At 4.10 pm, MNS chief Raj Thackeray arrived with his family. Five minutes later, a tempo carrying barricades arrived near Matoshree and police started barricading the premises. ACP Vishwas Nagre Patil and other senior official s arrived soon after, and started reviewing the police bandobast.
Within 15 minutes Dr Jalil Parkar announced Thackeray’s death to the media. Sainiks began demanding the eviction of media personnel from the area. Police intervened and shifted the media persons to the nearby MHADA building.
At 5.30 pm senior Shiv Sena leaders stepped out of Matoshree and appealed to partymen to remain calm and maintain peace. They also asked the Sainiks to allow the journalists to do their work.