Hindu fundamentalist politician Bal Thackeray, the founder of the right-wing Shiv Sena party, has died in Mumbai at the age of 86.
Mr Thackeray was blamed for inciting tensions between Hindu and Muslim communities during the 1993 Mumbai riots in which about 900 people died.
His fiery rhetoric made him one of India's most controversial politicians.
The Shiv Sena was founded to keep Indian migrants out of Maharashtra state and to halt the spread of Islam.
Party workers have gathered outside Mr Thackeray's house and security has been stepped up.
He had been in poor health for some months. His health deteriorated further on Wednesday.
Mr Thackeray formed the Shiv Sena in 1966. Over time the party has acquired a reputation of promoting religious and ethnic chauvinism while allegedly targeting minorities, especially Muslims.
He denied being anti-Muslim but said he was fiercely opposed to those who were pro-Pakistan.
Last month Mr Thackeray was unable to attend a party rally but addressed it through a video message.