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Nov 19, 2012 at 08:25am IST

Mumbai: Shiv Sena rules out bandh, traders may observe 'Shradhanjali Day'

Mumbai: The maximum city is expected to be back at work on Monday with the Shiv Sena ruling out a bandh in the city after the death of party supremo Bal Thackeray. The traders' associations in the city, however, are considering to observe the day as 'Shradhanjali Day'.

Bal Thackeray, the torchbearer of Hindutva politics, was cremated at Shivaji Park on Sunday evening with full state honours. Lakhs of people descended on the cremation venue to pay their last respects to the flagbearer of Marathi pride who died on Saturday afternoon following a cardiac arrest after week-long illness.

At Matoshree, the Thackerays' residence in Bandra East, emotions ran high on Sunday morning. Heir apparent Uddhav Thackeray was seen crying as his father's body was wrapped, first in the saffron-coloured party flag and then, the Tricolour, and moved to the hearse. A few metres away, cousin Raj Thackeray kept his distance from his former mentor's family, choosing to walk with his supporters to the cremation venue through the sea link, than to follow the hearse. In the days ahead, that is one aspect that will be analysed closely by political experts.

The short funeral procession route from Bandra to Shivaji Park via the Sena Bhavan in Dadar took the whole day, with the hearse moving slowly, followed by lakhs of people, desperate for a last glimpse of the man they both loved and feared. The police tried hard to keep the situation under control with announcements being made regularly through loudspeakers, urging people to maintain calm.

As Thackeray's family began the final leg of the journey from Sena Bhavan to Shivaji Park - politicians from across the divide turned up, united in death. From senior BJP leader LK Advani to ex-Shiv Sena leader Chhaggan Bhujbal and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan to Anil Ambani, they all paid tribute one by one.

The crowd by then had swelled to an unprecedented number as Mumbai witnessed a cremation like it had never seen before, with full state honours. With a chance finally to shed tears, estranged nephew Raj Thackeray came together with cousins Uddhav and Jaidev - in death, Bal Thackeray finally managing to reunite the family.

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