Chennai wears deserted look

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Chennai : Chennai on Wednesday appeared to be in the grip of a shutdown with shuttered shops and businesses and most vehicles going off the roads as a mark of respect to DMK stalwart and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.

The state government declared Wednesday as an official holiday for educational institutions, state government offices and state-owned undertakings.

Early morning milk supplies were not hit.

The normally busy shopping areas like Pondy Baazar, Ranganathan Street and other places here were deserted.

Some men tonsured their heads as a mark of respect to the dead leader.

Private bus operators have stopped their services to and from Chennai till Wednesday evening. However, people from different parts of the state are reaching the Tamil Nadu capital using other modes of transport.

A Southern Railway official told IANS that the suburban and other trains were operated as usual.

A tense situation prevailed earlier as the DMK and the AIADMK government crossed swords in the Madras High Court over a burial site for Karunanidhi at Marina Beach.

The court eventually ruled in favour of the Marina seafront.

Karunanidhi, 94, is expected to be buried near DMK founder and former Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai's memorial, popularly called Anna Square.

A five-time Chief Minister and leader of the DMK for 50 long years, Karunanidhi breathed his last owing to age-related ailments here on Tuesday evening.