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Nov 15, 2012 at 11:41am IST

Bal Thackeray on life support, say doctors; Shiv Sena says he's stable

Mumbai: 11.15 am: The health of Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray is "stable" now, party spokesman Sanjay Raut said on Thursday morning. "Balasaheb is stable now. Need not worry. He is responding to doctors' efforts," Raut, a Rajya Sabha MP, said.

10:34 am: At least 1,500 policemen and teams of the Rapid Action Force have been deployed outside Matoshree. The police have also asked the owners of shops around Matoshree to close down their shops amidst reports of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray being critical.

BJP leader Gopinath Munde visited Matoshree earlier on Thursday. He told the waiting media that Bal Thackeray was doing well. "I saw Balasaheb and also met Uddhav and the Thackeray family. Balasaheb is doing well," Munde said.

10:00 am: Amidst reports that Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray was critical, the leaves of all the policemen in Mumbai were cancelled as heavy security was deployed outside Thackeray's residence Matoshree.

9:05 am: Rapid Action Force has been deployed outside Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's residence Matoshree. Bal Thackeray continues to be critical. Bharatiya Janata Party leader Gopinath Munde visited Bal Thackeray on Thursday morning.

Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray continues to be critical in Mumbai. Doctors treating the 86-year-old at his Matoshree residence say he is on life support. A large crowd of Shiv Sainiks gathered outside his house in Bandra late on Wednesday night.

Several legislators and film personalities, including Amitabh Bachchan and his son Abhishek visited Matoshree on Wednesday night to inquire about Thackeray's health. Amitabh Bachchan who spent quite a few hours at Matoshree later tweeted that prayers were needed at this hour. "Balasaheb Thackeray : a fighter all his life, fights his life !! Prayers needed now! When I fought for my life after 'Coolie' accident, he came to visit me in hospital, with a cartoon he had drawn - Yamraj defeated ! Yamraj - God of Death, defeated by me..wish I was as proficient a cartoonist as he, for tonight I would wish to draw that for him (sic)," he tweeted.

Working President of the Shiv Sena and Bal Thackeray's son Uddhav Thackeray appealed for calm in his address to those assembled outside their residence. He said, "Balasaheb has strong will power. We will come out of this problem. Don't trust rumours. Make peace We are hopeful. You should be hopeful as well. Let's pray for Balasaheb."

According to the latest reports, traffic to the residence of Thackeray has been blocked and there is heavy presence of police personnel in the area. This comes hours after reports said that the Shiv Sena supremo is on continuous oxygen and not eating anything. "Bal Thackeray is not on ventilator, but is on continuous oxygen," his close source said on Tuesday. He said the 86-year-old Sena patriarch, who has been suffering from breathing problems, continues to be under medical supervision.

"His health is not so good. He is not eating anything," he said. A number of leaders including former President Pratibha Patil have visited Thackeray's residence 'Matoshree' over the past few days to enquire about his health. Meanwhile, President Pranab Mukherjee has cancelled his trip to Mumbai amidst reports of Bal Thackeray's deteriorating health.

(With additional information from PTI)

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