Shiv Sena
Bal Thackeray
, who was critically ill for the past few days, passed away at his residence 'Matoshree' in suburban Bandra today.

He was 86. "He had suffered a cardiac arrest. We could not revive him despite our best efforts. He breathed his last at around 3.30pm," Dr Jalil Parkar, who treated the Sena supremo, told reporters after emerging from Thackeray residence this evening.

Thackeray had been suffering from respiratory problems and pancreatic disease. He is survived by sons Jaidev and Uddhav, who is the Executive President of the party.

Senior party leaders and Bal Thackeray's nephew
Raj Thackeray
along with family and other political leaders rushed to Matoshree.

Meanwhile, security has been stepped up in the metropolis in the wake of Thackeray's death. The police also made the mediapersons move to a distance from Matoshree.

Earlier, senior Shiv Sena leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi had said: "We cannot say that he is recovering fast. It is a slow recovery, but he is slightly better now."

Sena mouthpiece 'Saamna' today said that "Thackeray is recovering and there is no need to worry. Our warrior is fighting.

Media persons and Sena workers stationed outside 'Matoshree' realized around 4 pm that there was some development as several senior leaders from Sena, BJP and other parties started arriving and police were seen to have become more alert.

As the speculation rose, Shiv Sena leaders Sanjay Raut, Diwakar Raote accompanied by Dr Jalil Parkar, who had been treating Thackeray for the last three years, came out around 5 pm to announce Thackeray's demise.

On hearing the news, a frenzied mob of Shiv sainiks tried to enter
by raising slogans "Bal Thackeray Amar Rahe' while police tried to prevent them from going inside and enhanced security allover.

Many of them in the crowd broke down on hearing the news about their leader's death.

Thackeray's health kept fluctuating since last few days with his son and party executive president
Uddhav Thackeray
appealing to Sainiks "to maintain calm and pray for his father" on Thursday night.

Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut appealed to people to maintain peace and harmony.

Thackeray was being treated by doctors from Lilavati Hospital — Jaleel Parkar, Prakash Jindani and Samad Ansari - with assistance from Sena MLA Dr Deepak Sawant. No medical bulletin was issued, but Sena leaders briefed the media daily.

The condition of the 86-year-old Sena patriarch worsened on Wednesday night when he had to be put on life support. He was taken off life support later after showing signs of improvement.