Big funeral for India's Hindu extremist leader

  • Associated Press
  • November 18, 2012 - 12:54 AM

MUMBAI, India - Hundreds of thousands of supporters have filled the streets of Mumbai for the funeral of Bal Thackeray, a Hindu extremist leader linked to waves of mob violence against Muslims and migrant workers in India.

Nearly 20,000 policemen were on hand Sunday because of the violent history of the group. But the mourners appeared calm and marched orderly as Thackeray's funeral procession made its way to a park where the body will be kept for his supporters to pay their last respects before it is cremated later Sunday.

Thackeray, an 86-year-old powerful, rabble-rousing orator for Shiv Sena — which means Shiva's Army — died on Saturday following a cardio-respiratory arrest. He had been ill for several weeks.

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