Maharashtra: Bal Thackeray dies, life comes to a halt

National

Life virtually came to a halt in several parts of Maharashtra following the death of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray today.

Shopkeepers and hoteliers downed shutters immediately after the news of his death.

There were some stray incidents of stone pelting in some areas in Mumbai and Thane. Taxis and autos were off the roads while local trains and BEST buses were plying in Mumbai though BEST authorities suspended operations in select areas where incidents of stone pelting were reported.

Office-goers tried to rush back to their homes as the news of Thackeray's death spread.

The central Railway has cancelled the mega block on both Central and Harbour lines in Mumbai tomorrow to help the people to attend the last rites of the departed leader.

Cabs and autos which remained off the roads today at the airport would also not operate tomorrow as a mark of respect for the departed leader, authorities said.

Reports coming from many cities including Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad and parts of Konkan said that shops and restaurants remained closed there and autos were off the roads after the news of Thackeray's death was received.

There were stray incidents of pelting of stones on BEST buses at Pantnagar in suburban Ghatkopar, Naupada (Thane), Prateeksha Nagar, Kamothe (Navi Mumbai).

The BEST suspended its operations in Mulund, Bhandup, Kandivali, Sion, Shivaji Nagar, Jogeshwari(E) and Kalanagar in Bandra. However, the transport undertaking said that it would operate its bus services tomorrow for the convenience of people who would come to pay last respects to Thackeray.

Shopkeepers in Pune downed their shutters as mark of respect to Bal Thackeray even as hundreds of Shiv Sainiks began leaving the city to attend last rites of their leader in Mumbai tomorrow.

Rickshaws too went off the roads in many parts as the blackboards announcing the news of Thackeray's death dotted the city.

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