Sena, MNS leadership appealed for calm in city
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The financial capital surprised the country with its peaceful and orderly homage to Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Sunday. However, this would not have been possible without the meticulous planning and instructions from the party's top bosses to the thick-knit cadres to "ensure calm".
While Maharashtra police were anticipating and apprehending clashes following the death, they soon got assurances from Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leadership that there would be no violence in the city and state.
Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray was insistent that "not a single incident which would belittle the entire grief and gravity of the moment" should take place. Lakhs of people joined the procession along the route, occupied every space on balconies, buildings and even climbed trees and dispersed after paying homage.
A party leader, who was at the Thackeray residence Matoshree since Wednesday night, said the leadership reached out to its cadre with a clear appeal and instructions that there should be no problems to citizens during the period of party's period of grief.
"He had clearly expressed his concern that though the demise was not a small incident, it should not lead to a law and order situation. It was clear that no incident should belittle the grief," said party leader Rahul Narvekar.
Within minutes of the formal announcement of Thackeray's demise and stones being pelted at the media and police, Sena MP and spokesperson Sanjay Raut came on stage and appealed to the Sainiks to restrain from violence for "their leader". He repeatedly reminded them that "he would not like them to react this way at this hour". Explaining that the policemen had not slept or eaten a good meal for the past four days, he told them, "They are one of us. They are our brothers and sisters. They are here for Balasaheb just like you. So maintain peace." He said the media present at the spot was conveying the messages from Uddhav for party workers and citizens across the state and country and they should be left alone.
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