As of Monday, December 24, over 300,000 people are expected to attend a massive rally called by the Shiv Sena political party in Pandharpur (Maharashtra state), located 350 km (217 mi) southeast of the state capital Mumbai. According to the organizers, the event organized at one of Maharashtra's most sacred pilgrimages aims at seeking blessings from the deity ahead of the 2019 general elections. Significant traffic disruptions are likely along with a heightened security presence in the vicinity of the event.
Shiv Sena (army of Shiva) is an Indian far-right regional political party whose ideology is based on pro-Marathi ideology and Hindu nationalism. This party originally emerged from a movement in Mumbai (former Bombay) demanding preferential treatment for the people of Maharashtra over migrants.
People present in Maharashtra State are advised to monitor development to the situation, avoid all gatherings, and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities.
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