Mumbai: Shiv Sena on Sunday said that the party has not called any bandh in Maharashtra on Monday in lieu of Bal Thackeray's demise. Uddhav Thackeray's personal secretary Milind Narvekar said that Shiv Sena has not called a bandh either in Maharashtra or in Mumbai on Monday.
However, Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM) called upon its constituents and the trading community to observe a bandh in Maharashtra on Monday as a mark of respect to the Shiv Sena supremo. In a statement, FAM appealed to all its constituents to observe Monday as the 'Shradhanjali Day'. Various organisations of traders and dealers are affiliated to FAM, including Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) and markets dealing in grains, sugar, dry fruits, metal, iron and steel and chemicals.
While Navi Mumbai fruits and vegetables wholesale traders and few other wholesalers have called a bandh on Monday, retailers will remain open. Even on Sunday, Mumbai had shut down to mourn the death of the man who ruled it for 40 years. The roads to Matoshree in Bandra to Dadar in Central Mumbai were cleared off traffic. No taxis and autos plyed on the Mumbai roads on Sunday.
Except civic body's BEST buses and suburban railways, no transport was available for the commuters on Sunday. "BEST and suburban railways are running additional buses and trains for people's convenience," a railway official said.
Meanwhile, all educational institutes including schools and colleges will remain closed on Monday as a mark of respect to Bal Thackeray. Taxi and auto unions sais that they will watch the situation and decide accordingly whether or not to ply on Monday.
All the movie screenings were also cancelled since Saturday evening and there will be no shows on Monday as well. Around 20,000 policemen stood guard along the funeral procession route from Matoshree to Shivaji Park on SUnday as lakhs of people followed the funeral procession to pay last respects to the Marathi leader.
Citizens found it difficult to get milk and vegetables on Sunday. "We did not get milk this morning and even the vegetable market is shut. I have never come across such silence in the city in my life ever," said Rama Arolla (50), a housewife from BDD chawl in Worli area.
Even as people thronged to catch a glimpse of the Sena patriarch and pay homage to him, shops, restaurants, hotels, theatres, malls and other commercial establishments remained shut and private vehicles, taxis, autorickshaws remained off the roads. Medical shops in the city as well as in neighbouring Thane were also closed.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh has cancelled his daughter's wedding reception on Sunday and leaves of all policemen have been cancelled.
Cable services in Mumbai were also blocked and the operators blocked all entertainment channels on Sunday. Mumbai police had issued an advisory to control the traffic movement on Sunday. Veer Savakar Road, Annie Besant Road and Mori Road, among others, are off bounds between 6 am and 10 pm on Sunday night. No traffic will be allowed on these roads. Meanwhile, no parking will be allowed on Ranade Road and NC Kelkar Road among other places.
Mumbai police had made elaborate security arrangements by deploying 20,000 policemen, 15 companies of State Reserve Police and three companies of Rapid Action Force to deal with any situation.
Mumbai, which resembled a ghost city since Saturday evening, has remained calm and peaceful as news of Bal Thackeray's death began to sink in. All major roads and public places were deserted barring the odd security vehicles, some Shiv Sena activists moving around or a few delayed office-goers scampering home.