Ailing Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray’s health took a turn for the worse on Wednesday, prompting the police to go on high alert throughout the state.
“Balasaheb’s condition is very, very critical,” said a close relative after visiting Matoshree, the well-fortified residence of the Thackerays, late on Wednesday evening. A team of doctors fromLilavati hospital was monitoring Thackeray’s health, it is learnt.
Balasaheb’s son and Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray, his nephew and MNS chiefRaj Thackeray, and other relatives were at his bedside. Shiv Sainiks, including senior Sena leaders Manohar Joshi and Subhash Desai, made a beeline to Matoshree on learning about the Sena chief’s health.
Police threw a security ring around Matoshree and senior Mumbai police officials visited Kala Nagar, the three-lined enclave where Matoshree is situated, to take stock of the situation.
Thackeray has been ill for over two weeks. He was admitted to Lilavati hospital in July this year after he complained of breathlessness and constipation. Since then, he was wheeled into Lilavati on two occasions.
He couldn’t attend the Sena’s Dussehra rally last month because of poor health. A video-tape of his address was played at the annual party conclave held at Shivaji Park.
Maharashtra on maximum alert
Former President Pratibha Patil called on Matoshree early this week to inquire after Balasaheb’s health. Maharashtra leaders, including Chhagan Bhujbal, Gopinath Munde, Ramdas Athavaletoo paid a visit to Matoshree. NCP chief Sharad Pawar made a call to Thackeray’s son, Uddhav on Tuesday and inquired after the Sena chief’s health. Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan was also learnt to be at Matoshree late on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, the entire state was put on maximum alert in view of the deteriorating condition of the Sena supremo. In a wireless message to all the police commissioners and SPs, the state home department asked them to deploy not only companies of the state reserve police force, but also rapid action force companies. “Ensure that adequate police force is deployed in your jurisdiction and if someone is taking the law into his hand or creating communal tension, deal with them with an iron hand,” a senior IPS officer quoted the message as saying.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan too had a prolonged meeting with chief secretary J K Banthia, DGP Sanjeev Dayal, Mumbai police commissioner S P Singh and high ranking officials as news of Thackeray’s condition spread. TOI