A sea of people at Thackeray's funeral procession

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Lakhs of people converged in Mumbai since early on Sunday as Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray's final journey started from his residence Matoshri in suburban Bandra.

Wrapped in the tricolour, Thackeray's body was brought out of his house a little after 9 a.m. His son, Uddhav, broke down just before the funeral procession started. A glass box carrying the 86-year-old Sena patriarch's body was then loaded onto a flower bedecked truck.

Uddhav, his wife Rashmi and son Aditya were on the same truck, along with Thackeray's nephew and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj, his wife Sharmila and their children.

Thackeray's cortege will first go to Sena Bhavan, the party headquarters in Dadar, and the body would later be kept at Shivaji Park for people to pay their last respects.

The funeral procession that started from Bandra will end at Shivaji Park in Dadar in central Mumbai. Over a lakh people joined in at various connecting roads that lead to the venue where his body is to be kept till Sunday evening.

Over 20,000 policemen, 15 companies of State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) and three contingents of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been deployed on the procession route alone.

Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh has cancelled his daughter's wedding reception party Sunday as a mark of respect to the leader.

After allowing several thousands of Shiv Sainiks from all over the state to pay their last respects, the body will be taken to Shivaji Park and kept for a public 'darshan' for over 200,000 people who are expected to turn up.

All major roads and public places wore a deserted look, barring the odd security vehicles, some Shiv Sena activists moving around or a few delayed office-goers scampering home.

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