Shutters down on funeral day; mark of respect, say Sainiks

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For the second day in a row Pune city and Pimpri-Chinchwad observed a "spontaneous" bandh even as citizens remained indoor watching on TV the funeral procession of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray in Mumbai. On Saturday afternoon, minutes after the demise of the Sena chief was announced in Mumbai, commercial establishments in Pune downed shutters. Shiv Sainiks described it as the city's way of paying homage to Thackeray.

On Sunday, shops and other commercial establishments remained closed in Pune city, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Khadki, Hinjewadi, Maval and neighbouring talukas. Some essential services like public transport were running and a few medicine shops and some petrol pumps remained open.Vegetable markets also remained closed on Sunday.

The usually crowded roads, especially in central parts of the city had thin traffic. Not much traffic was seen on highways either. Shop and hotel owners said things would be normal from Monday.

Malls, theatres and hotels remained shut. However, industrial units functioned except for a handful who had given employees the day off to avoid any trouble.

P I Varghese, chairman and managing director of Suvarna Fibrotech, Bhosari said, "We functioned as usual but attendance was down. Similar was the case with several other industrial units in Pimpri-Chinchwad-Bhosari industrial belt," he said.

No untoward incident was reported from any part of the city. Police said there were no complaints of hooligans forcing closure of shops and hotels.

Shiv Sena leaders said that from Saturday evening to early on Sunday, there was a rush of Sainiks from Pune city and Pimpri-Chinchwad to Mumbai for the funeral. "We, Sainiks, have been badly shaken by Balasaheb's death. We can't put a number, but thousands from Pune attended the funeral," said Sena MP Gajanan Babar.

Sena corporator Seema Savle said, "Pune city voluntarily observed the bandh which was its own way of paying homage to the Sena supremo."

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