Shiv Sena prepares for Thackeray's final journey
A sea of grieving people converged since early Sunday in Bandra here as preparations were underway for the funeral of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, who passed away Saturday afternoon.
The funeral cortege, which was expected to start from Matoshri, the residence of the Thackeray clan, was delayed in its journey to the party headquarters in Shivaji Park in Dadar, barely 7 kms towards the south.
The flower bedecked truck on which a glass box carrying Thackeray's body will wend its way from Bandra east to Dadar west via the Mahim Causeway - one of the connecting links between south Mumbai and suburbs over the Mahim Creek.
After allowing several thousands of Shiv Sainiks from all over the state to pay their last respects, the body will be taken to Shivaji Park and kept for a public 'darshan' for over 200,000 people who are expected to turn up.
Mumbai police have made elaborate security arrangements by deploying 20,000 policemen, 15 companies of State Reserve Police and three companies of Rapid Action Force to deal with any situation.
Mumbai, which resembled a ghost city since Saturday evening, has remained calm and peaceful as news of Thackeray's death began to sink in.
All major roads and public places were deserted barring the odd security vehicles, some Shiv Sena activists moving around or a few delayed office-goers scampering home.
Top VVIPs from all over India are expected to arrive for Thackeray's funeral, slated at 6 p.m. Sunday evening at Shivaji Park.