Mumbai: Trade associations in Mumbai and Maharashtra have called for a voluntary shutdown on Monday as a mark of respect for Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray, who passed away at his home on Saturday afternoon.

The Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM) called upon the trading community to shut down businesses and observe 'Shradhanjali Diwas' (a day of homage) on Monday for Thackeray. "The state of Maharashtra and its trading community has lost a true friend and a well wisher. Balasaheb was a great son of the soil and a true nationalist who minced no words to express his views," said FAM president Mohan Gurnani.

Various organisations of traders and dealers are affiliated to FAM, including Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) and markets dealing in grains, sugar, dry fruits, metal, iron and steel and chemicals. The retail and wholesale jewellery market; Zaveri Bazar and all other such units will also remain shut on Monday.

The Shiv Sena, however, denied having called a shutdown. "The shutdown call is purely voluntary. We have not called for any kind of shutdown," party spokesperson Anil Parab told.

However, auto rickshaws and taxis might ply if the situation is calm. All educational institutes including schools and colleges will also remain closed on Monday owing to the call given by various bus owners' associations of the city and state. Public transport, including city buses and local trains, will ply as usual throughout the city and state.

Thackeray's death after months of liver and pancreatic ailments came at 3.33 pm on Saturday. His son and political heir Uddhav Thackeray consigned to the flames the mortal remains of the demagogic leader on Sunday at Shivaji Park.


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