Bal Thackeray off life support system: Shiv Sena spokesperson

Bal Thackeray

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.

"Yesterday definitely there was some problem. Balasaheb is stable and responding to treatment and off life support system. Yesterday there was the need for him to be on life support system but today it is not," Raut, a Rajya Sabha MP, said.

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.

Meanwhile, security outside Thackeray's 'Matoshree' bungalow in suburban Bandra has been stepped up following yesterday's incidents in which Shiv Sainiks had damaged some media vehicles and equipment.

Large contingents of Mumbai police and Rapid Action Force have been stationed and the area has been heavily barricaded.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has been continuously monitoring law and order situation in the state in view of Thackeray's condition.

"Last night, Chavan held a high-level meeting with the chief secretary and top police officers. Since this morning, he is in constant touch with family members of the Sena chief," official sources said.

Large number of shops and business establishments in Sena strongholds like Dadar and Parel were closed as anxious party workers converged at 'Matoshree' to inquire about their leader's health.

Politicians, film personalities and captains of industry made a beeline for 'Matoshree' as a mark of solidarity with the Thackeray family.

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.

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