The usual buzz surrounding New Year was missing in Delhi on Monday after the city witnessed the gruesome gang-rape of a 23-year-old girl, who died two days ago, with lesser turnouts in hotspots like India Gate and Connaught Place.
Several clubs, including the Press Club of India and Delhi Gymkhana, and five-star hotels cancelled their New Year revelries following the death of the girl.
Protests were held at Jantar Mantar where a makeshift memorial was also built.
The mood at Connaught Place, the heart of New Delhi, was a modest affair unlike other years when there is a lot of pomp and celebrations.
It was a no-vehicle zone this evening at CP for controlling the crowd. Police personnel were in huge numbers there, keeping a close watch on the revellers.
Policemen with alcometres were out on streets to check drunk driving. Additional personnel were deployed across the city in the night to maintain law and order.
Apart from fines up to Rs 2,000 and suspension of driving licences for drunk driving, Delhi Police said defaulters may land behind bars.
During the day, a large number of students took out a march in Connaught Place protesting against the gangrape of the young girl. The Central Park in the CP was closed.
Though not like last year, people thronged popular markets and fun spots on New Year eve today in the capital where police kept a tight vigil to ensure that the festivities went ahead without any untoward incident.
City police has made elaborate security and traffic arrangements to ensure that the celebrations go off peacefully.
Vehicle checks were stepped up at locations like malls and hotels. Traffic regulations were also in place to ensure Delhiites have a smooth run up to the celebrations.
Police personnel were posted at all hotels, restaurants, markets and religious places which were drawing people in large numbers.
Owners of pubs have also been asked to immediately alert officials on any probable trouble-makers.
"We have been given strict instructions to keep an eye on motorists driving under the influence of alcohol and personnel have been stationed at various locations to ensure the same," a senior police official said.
Neha, who along with her friends have come to CP, said: "Every year we go out for having whole night fun but this year I have cancelled all programme as I am sad for the girl who is of my age. And to be honest, I am afraid to go out in night in Delhi, it is an unsafe city for women."
"It may be a new year for entire world but for Delhiites it is a sad day. If a person is not safe in Bus then were in Delhi is he or she safe. Earlier being a resident of Delhi we were afraid of terrorist attacks now we are afraid of rapists too," Karan Sharma said.