Wknd. KTBuzzon Inspired Living Indulge City Times KT Mobile KT ePaper KT Competitions Subscribe KT
Khaleej Times
Khaleej Times Google Plus Page Khaleej Times Facebook Page Khaleej Times Twitter Page Khaleej Times on Instagram
   
  wknd.
  Indulge
  Inspired Living
  Parent Talk
   
   
  Classifieds
  Properties
  Used Cars
   
Home > International
 
Indian politician Bal Thackeray dead

(AFP) / 17 November 2012

MUMBAI Firebrand Indian politician Bal Thackeray, who founded the right-wing Hindu party Shiv Sena, died on Saturday after suffering a cardiac arrest, his doctor said.

Thackeray, 86, has “breathed his last”, his physician Jalil Parkar told a huge crowd assembled outside the veteran politician’s house in India’s financial hub of Mumbai.

Thackeray, regarded as one of India’s most divisive politicians, had been placed on a ventilator earlier after his health deteriorated sharply, and Parkar said attempts to revive him after he suffered a cardiac arrest failed.

Mumbai police have placed thousands of extra police on the streets to prevent unrest following the death of the politician.

Thackeray’s Shiv Sena party became synonymous with deadly communal violence during its campaign to protect local Marathi-speaking people and their culture from migrant workers.

Supporters sobbed into their handkerchiefs outside the house of Thackeray, who was known for his oratorical skills.

“He was an iron man, he spoke in the language of the masses. It worked very well because he connected with them at the very basic level. He gave them hope,” Shobhaa De, novelist and a popular columnist, told India’s CNN-IBN network.

The funeral rites for the founder and president of the Shiv Sena or the Army of Shivaji — the Maratha king who battled against the Islamic Mughal empire — were due to be held on Sunday.

A massive procession was planned through the streets of Mumbai for Thackeray, nicknamed “The Tiger” because of his fearlessness and readiness to take on any opponent.

Shiv Sena, which has controlled Mumbai’s city council since the mid-1990s, is a staunch ally of the Hindu nationalist and main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The BJP announced it was cancelling its attendance at a dinner to be held by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday night to show respect for Thackeray.

Policemen are deployed outside the house of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012. Thackery’s health had worsened on Wednesday, leading to a surge of supporters in thousands outside his residence. -AP

A stream of politicians, cutting across party lines, and top Bollywood entertainment figures had visited Thackeray’s house in the past few days.

Thackeray’s son Uddhav, the Shiv Sena executive president, earlier in the week had appealed to the party’s supporters to stay calm.

 

For more news from Khaleej Times, follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/khaleejtimes, and on Twitter at @khaleejtimes

Comments
comments powered by Disqus