Shiv Sena mouthpiece bear mourful look

Bidding adieu to Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, party mouthpiece 'Saamna', a Marathi daily, and its sister publication 'Dophar Ka Saamna', a Hindi newspaper, wore a mournful look today with full black cover jackets and black cover pages.

Bal Thackeray, who passed away yesterday, was the founder-editor of both the papers, considered to be the party's voice, as Shiv Sainiks had got used to receiving messages and directions from their supremo through them.

The day-to-day affairs in both the papers were managed by hand-picked executive editors. Sena sources said for the first time in Saamna's history since it was launched on January 23, 1988, two main cover pages were printed in sheer black.

Jacket cover carried a large smiling picture of Bal Thackeray, a heading in large font -- "Aaple Saheb Gele" (Our Boss Departs) -- and a verse in Marathi below it.

The inside main cover had flier headline saying `A divine avatar goes to heaven' and the day's top story headlined `A storm called Balasaheb has quietened'. 'Dopahar Ka Saamna' does not come out on Sunday, but it brought out a special edition today as a tribute to Thackeray, executive editor Prem Shukla wrote in the editorial.

It also had a full black cover with a photograph of Thackeray's headlined `Hinduon Ke Mahadev Ka Mahaprayan', and a verse. The inside pages had thick black bands with the stories in a grey background.

Saamna was founded as a party organ for Marathi-speaking followers, while `Dopahar Ka Saamna' was launched on February 23, 1993 to woo the north Indians settled in Mumbai and Maharashtra.

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