Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray passes away at 86

Bal Keshav Thackeray, one of India’s most polarising politicians and leader of an influential right-wing Hindu nationalist party that has dominated politics in the country’s richest city for two decades, has died aged 86.

Thackeray, has “breathed his last”, his physician Jalil Parkar told a huge crowd assembled outside the veteran politician’s house in India’s financial hub of Mumbai.

Thackeray, the founder and president of the hardline Shiv Sena (Tiger Army) party, was one of the most prominent and outspoken figures of  India’s Hindu nationalist movement, and rose to prominence with his fiery rhetoric against immigration in India’s richest city.

Thackeray, who was admitted into a central Mumbai hospital in July, died of cardio-respiratory arrest at his home, the doctor, Jalil Parker, said.

Thackeray is one of the best-known and most controversial figures in the western state of Maharashtra and its capital, which his party renamed from Bombay to Mumbai.

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