City, Pimpri down shutters, not likely to open today

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As soon as the news of the death of Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray spread across the city and Pimpri, shops and commercial establishments closed down and they are likely to remain shut on Sunday when his funeral will take place in Mumbai.

Deputy Commissioner of police (special branch) M B Tambade said, "We have stepped up security in the city. Police teams have been deployed at 89 points in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. Two additional companies of State Reserved Police Force have been deployed in the city."

Tambade added, "We are in constant touch with Sena leaders in the city. Through them we have urged Shiv Sainiks and public to maintain law and order. The entire police force will be on high alert for the next couple of days."

Immediately after the death of the Sena leader was announced, shops, restaurants, cinema halls and multiplexes closed down. An owner of a restaurant said, "Many of us closed down on our own. Some closed down after Shiv Sainiks asked them to do so."

Baba Sanap, an owner of a tea stall near Deccan, said, "I did not know Balasaheb had died. Some Sainiks came and asked me to close down because he had passed away. He was a hero for common citizens like me. I had to close down for the sake of what he had done for people like me."

Even in Pimpri-Chinchwad, shops, malls and theatres downed shutters. Some small industrial units too decided to close down by evening. Sena leader Sarang Kamtekar said, "The bandh was spontaneous at several places. In some places, when Sainiks informed about the demise, shop owners shut down voluntarily," he said.

Office bearers of associations of restaurant and hotel owners and film theatre owners said their establishments closed down voluntarily on Saturday and will remain closed till Sunday evening. Though no such official announcement has been made by them.

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