Three cockfight punters drown, while escaping from police

Police fished out two bodies so far; search is on for another one

 Prakasam: Three punters, who jumped into a canal in an attempt to flee from the police, drowned in the canal at Eepurapalem area under Chirala Mandal in Prakasam district on Tuesday night.
 
So far the police have retrieved two bodies from the water, and the search is on for remaining missing person.
 
The deceased have been identified as Ch Madhu (30), a native of Stuvartpuram village under Bapatla Mandal and M Srinu (32) of the Ramnagar area of Eepurapalem.
 
The police are yet to establish the identity of the other missing person in the incident.
 
Based on accurate information on the cockfights, the police, led by Vemula Sudhakar, carried out a surprise raid at an open place near Eepurapalem Straight Cut canal to bust the cockfighting and betting operations on Tuesday evening.
 
Seeing the police, the organizers of the cockfights and the punters fled in various directions. While the police managed to catch a few persons, the rest managed to escape.

Meanwhile, the three punters, who jumped into the canal to escape from the police, failed to come out from under the water and drowned in the canal.
 
Sub-Inspector of Police, V Sudhakar said that they launched search and rescue operation with the support of the locals to trace the missing persons on Tuesday night. Our efforts failed to save their lives and so far have managed to fish out one body on Tuesday night and one more body on Wednesday morning.
 
The police said that even before Sankranti festival, some people have been organizing cockfights (bloody sport) at isolated places in Eepurapalem by tying knives to the birds. The punters are also putting huge bets on the rooster fights.
 

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In some places, family members and children were seen enjoying the rooster fights, the police added.
 
The police shifted the two bodies to the government hospital for autopsy and informed the relatives of the deceased. 

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