Thousands line up funeral procession route

Funeral procession

As the procession entered Mahim, a line of workers with saffron cloth began walking along, creating cordon

A gloomy silence hung over Kalanagar junction in Bandra as Sainiks and Sena supporters gathered for a final glimpse of Bal Thackeray outside Matoshree early on Sunday morning. The crowd swelled gradually and by 7 am, the entire junction was occupied.

ACP (West) Vishwas Nangre-Patil appealed over a public address system to maintain order.

Estranged nephew and MNS chief Raj Thackeray arrived at around 7.45 am.

By 9 am, a rectangular table draped in a white cloth had been set up outside Matoshree and Raj came out shortly thereafter. Police activity too stepped up.

Ten minutes later, the body of Thackeray draped in a saffron cloth and flowers was brought out by son Uddhav, grandson Aditya and other family members. It was laid on the table and the tricolour was draped over it.

A full salute by senior policemen present followed as a police band played in the background.

The body was then put in a truck decorated with flowers, saffron flags and a large photograph of the Sena chief. The gathering began proceeded towards Sena Bhavan in Dadar, slowly.

Thousands followed the procession waving saffron flags and shouting slogans.

Followers climbed atop trees and hoardings to capture the final journey on cellphones and in cameras. As the procession entered Mahim, a line of Sena workers with a long saffron cloth started walking along, effectively creating a cordon. Due to its sheer numbers, the procession had to stop twice on Mahim causeway. Around 11.30 am, it came to a standstill on Sheetladevi Temple Road for almost two hours.

The procession finally started crawling again at around 1.30 pm and reached Sena Bhavan at around 3.30 pm.

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