Chennai: The people of this teeming megapolis ushered in the New year with spiritual fervour, traditional gaiety and trendy parties.
As the clock struck 12, shouts of ‘Happy New Year’ rent the air, as thousands of people, who had congregated at the Marina beach and other places ushered in the 2019 in high ‘spirits’.
It was a sea of humanity at the Marina beach front as the milling crowd celebrated the occasion with fervour. The New Year was also celebrated by various residential associations.
Police have made elaborate security arrangements and more than 15,000 police personnel were deployed on security duty in the city, including at the ECR stretch.
Milling crowds were seen in several hotels and shopping malls and at theme parks to celebrate the new year. Police had imposed stringent regulations on hotels to ensure that no untoward incident took place.
People ushered in the New Year by drawing colourful rangolis in front of their houses. Special poojas and abhishekams were also held at various temples across the State. Special midnight masses were held in various churches across the State.
People attired in new clothes thronged temples early in the morning to offer worship. Large crowds were seen in temples, including at the famous Sri Parthasarathy temple, Lord Kapaleeswarar temple and at Lord Muruga temple at Vadapalani in the city.
Elsewhere in the State, a large number of people offered prayers at the ancient Sri Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangam, Lord Varadharajaswamy temple at Kancheepuram, Goddess Meenakshi Amman temple at Madurai, Goddess Kamatchi Amman temple in Kancheepuram and at Sri Ramanathaswamy temple at Rameswaram.
Huge crowds were also seen in all the six abodes of Lord Muruga including Tiruttani as devotees thronged in large numbers to offer prayers.
THE OTHER SIDE
Meanwhile, amid the high New Year revelleries that took place last night, city police attended to a number of mishaps across the city including a murder.
As per police records, seven person lost their lives in road accidents, all involving two-wheelers. Sources said that around 105 persons suffered injuries in various road mishaps across the city, out of which 15 were admitted to various hospitals, while the rest were treated as out-patients.
Even as police did not register any case against motorists for drunken driving, they carried out checks in which hundreds were caught from 31 December morning to the wee hours of 1 January.
“The vehicles were stopped and they were not allowed to drive, but we did not press charges on them. They were let off with a warning,” a police source said.
In an unfortunate case, a son murdered his father at Nolambur, near Mugappair. Police said, the son, identified as Naveen (18) had come home at 2.30 am in an inebriated condition which angered his mother who shouted at him. Naveen shouted back when his father Venkatesan (50) intervened by scolding him for yelling at his mother to which Naveen responded by pushing him angrily. Venkatesan hit against a bureau.
Sources said Venkatesan who had undergone an open heart surgery last month died on the spot. Naveen, a first year ITI student, was arrested by the police.
Two major accidents took place at Kodambakkam and Velacheri. In Velacheri, the deceased were identified as Vinoth Kumar (22), a mechanic and Purushothaman (19), a painter, both residents of Adambakkam. Police said the duo were over-speeding and rammed against another vehicle at 100-Feet-Road.
At 11.10 pm, an MTC bus ran over a two-wheeler rider at Kodambakkam High Road.