What began as a romantic gesture in front of friends and family at the Palavakam beach in Chennai, turned tragic for a couple celebrating their second anniversary on Thursday. Veni and Vignesh, who are both from Vellore had taken a pair of rings to exchange in the sea as a symbol of their continuing commitment when strong waves dragged Veni into deep waters.
Her body was recovered an hour later in Kottivakkam after rescue boats were sent out to find her. The couple who have one-year old son had come to the beach with 10 relatives and friends in multiple cars. They were staying at their friend's residence in Chennai. After going out for dinner on Thursday night, they went to the beach with their friends at close to 11.30 pm and proceeded towards the water.
"The two policemen on duty there warned them against going into the waters because it is not considered safe. There are infact plenty of signs on the beach saying the same," an official in the Neelankarai police station told TNM. "But they fought with the police and went to the water. They even cut a cake on the shore," he adds.
At 11.45 pm, the couple entered the water to exchange rings. They were in hip level water even as strong waves were crashing on to the shore. Suddenly, Veni was dragged into the water but Vignesh managed to swim back to the shore.
Horrified friends and relatives immediately alerted the police who tried to locate Veni using boats from a fishermen colony. Her corpse was later found on the Kottivakkam beach and sent for a post-mortem to the Royapettah Government Hospital. The inquiry in the case is being conducted by the Revenue Divisional Officer in Guindy.
"This is not the first time that such an incident is happening on the city's beaches," says a police official. "We keep warning them against going into the water. But the minute we leave the spot to cover the rest of the perimeter they throw caution to the wind and go into the sea. We need to bring more barriers in the night, that will prevent people from entering the water."