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Security beefed up across Maharashtra

Saturday, 17 November 2012 - 9:01pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: PTI

Mumbai's police commissioner urged citizens to step out of their houses only if it was absolutely necessary. He said there would be traffic restrictions, particularly in Bandra and Dadar.

Security was beefed up across Maharashtra, particularly in Mumbai, where 20,000 police personnel were deployed to keep a tight vigil following the death of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Saturday.

"The entire police force is on an alert in Maharashtra. Lakhs of people are expected to visit Mumbai to take a last glimpse of Thackeray," a senior police officer at the state police headquarters said.

In Mumbai alone, over 20,000 city police, 15 companies of the State Reserve Police and three contingents of the Rapid Action Force have been deployed.

"The funeral procession will begin tomorrow at 7am. We have deployed enough police force at Sena Bhavan in Dadar, Matoshree in Bandra, and at Shivaji Park, where the last respects would be paid," police commissioner Satyapal Singh said.

"I appeal to people to remain calm and maintain law and order. Citizens should step out of the houses only if it is urgent. There would be traffic restrictions, particularly in Bandra and Dadar areas," Singh said.

Police have made an appeal to motorists to avoid the Western Express Highway as roads connecting Kalanagar area, where Thackeray lived, have been cordoned off.

The entire city wore a deserted look as shops, hotels, restaurants and other commercial establishments shut down and there was sparse traffic on the streets.

"We did not ask anybody to keep their shops shut. People are doing it voluntarily," Singh said.

Appropriate arrangements have been made at Shivaji Park where VIPs are expected to arrive on Sunday to pay homage, Singh added.

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