Bal Thackeray turns 85, but no birthday bash

January 23rd, 2011 - 2:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Uddhav Thackeray Mumbai, Jan 23 (IANS) Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray turned 85 here Sunday, but there was no birthday bash or beating of drums by party activists.

All roads leading to Matoshree, the Thackerays’ residence in Bandra east, were barricaded, and barring locals or authorized people nobody was permitted to enter the vicinity.

The tight security arrangements were in the wake of a terror alert sounded by police, warning of a terror strike during Thackeray’s birthday celebrations at Matoshree and a formal function Sunday evening at Shanmukhanand Hall.

The party, through its mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ had announced two days ago that Thackeray would not meet any of his well-wishers on his birthday.

Instead, it advised party workers and people to send their greetings via a special SMS number or a dedicated cell-phone number or an e-mail, and these would be conveyed to Thackeray.

A group of party activists arrived here from Kalyan in Thane and vowed to sacrifice their lives to protect their beloved leader.

Thackeray’s grandson, Aditya, who recently floated the Yuva Sena, will be the star attraction along with his father Uddhav Thackeray, at a birthday function at Shanmukhananda Hall where tributes will be paid to the leader for his contribution to the state.

However, in view of the threat perceptions to his security, Thackeray has decided to bow out of the celebrations as a precautionary measure.

In a statement Saturday, he said that Uddhav would be available to welcome the party workers and accept the birthday greetings on his behalf.

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