Ban notwithstanding, bloodied cockfights continue unabated in Andhra even after Sankranti

Vizag Rural police have foiled cockfights at various places in the past few days and seized over 50 fighting roosters and over Rs 30,000 cash from the organizers and punters.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  1 Feb 2022 3:21 AM GMT
Ban notwithstanding, bloodied cockfights continue unabated in Andhra even after Sankranti

Vizianagaram: North coastal Andhra Pradesh (NCAP) is witnessing cockfights even after the Sankranti festival.

Locals said the bloody sport will continue till March. Cockfights are one of the major attractions during local deity festivals in Vizag, Vizianagaram, and Srikakulam districts.

Unlike East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna, and Guntur districts, cockfights started much before the Sankranti festival. Though the betting is less compared to East and West Godavari districts, the organizers are exploring new ways and means to continue the banned sport.

Vizag Rural police have foiled cockfights at various places in the past few days and seized over 50 fighting roosters and over Rs 30,000 cash from the organizers and punters. Similarly, Vizianagaram police foiled over 20 cockfights and seized over 20 roosters.

Cockfights are the biggest attractions in Godavari and parts of Krishna and Guntur districts during the three-day Sankranti festival.

In Vizag region, rooster fights are a regular feature with low betting. "Cockfights commence in December and continue for four months in a phased manner", said S Srinivas, a punter in Vizag region.

Police said they have foiled over 50 cockfights and arrested over 360 persons. "We have seized 195 fighting roosters and over Rs 4 lakh cash in Vizianagaram district last year. We have observed that cockfights are not a seasonal event in the NCAP. However, betting is less compared to two Godavari districts," said a senior police officer in Vizianagaram.

Sources said that the organizers are planning to host the bloody sport and deploy some youngsters at strategic locations to avoid police gaze. These youth will be entrusted the job of tipping them off about police movement so that they could schedule their programme accordingly.

Despite the ban on the use of knives and betting, the organizers are finding new ways to organize cockfights. "They tie sharp blades to the legs of the birds," said a cop.

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Cockfighting is prohibited under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and the Andhra Pradesh Gaming Act, 1974.

Bird lovers oppose cockfight events citing blood sport and the cruelty of animals

The fighting roosters command different prices depending on the categories and training of birds

Each fighting rooster price ranges between Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000 in the Vizag region.

Local deity festivals commenced from January 18 in the North Andhra Pradesh region.

Apart from the cockfights, other gambling activities also reporting

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