Rajahmundry: During These 3 Days Of Sankranti Festival, Cockfights Held With Renewed Vigour In Godavari Districts
RAJAHMUNDRY: DURING SANKRANTI FESTIVAL, COCKFIGHTS HELD WITH RENEWED VIGOUR IN GODAVARI DISTRICTS
Despite tall claims of the police to have curbed cockfights during the three days of Sankranti festival, they continued unabated as the organisers, mostly politicians, conducted them in parts of Godavari districts, with renewed vigour.
With elections around the corner, it was imperative for them to impress upon a section of voters to favour the ruling Telugu Desam. Though some politicians were clever enough to avoid direct participation in cockfights to avoid trouble from the High Court, some openly organised and took part in such fights to prove their mettle that they could organise such fights despite restrictions.
Though the police initiated a series of measures by booking hundreds of cases on those who raise and train cocks and tie knives to the talons of fighting cocks and also on those who get involved in gambling under relevant provisions of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and AP Gaming Act, 1974, they seemed to have remained mute spectators during the three days of Sankranti festival by allowing conduct of cockfights with indiscriminate betting at several places in Godavari districts.
Meanwhile, the organisers had taken up some safety norms by conducting cockfights with betting and also other games like Gundata and gambling but no liquor and other illegal activities were allowed to avoid trouble from the police.
As the fights lasted for a few minutes, huge amounts of money changed hands in no time and even got over soon, with no trace of police personnel in the vicinity.
However, despite the increased vigil of the police, organisers conducted the events.
On the other hand, the police had booked several cases and had also detained several persons and even arrested a few so that they could claim before the High Court that they had made all out efforts to curb them given the number of cases booked and persons arrested.
In Muramalla, Rajahmundry, organisers set up a mini stadium for the competitions, despite police warning them against it.
Meanwhile, police raided several places to stop the event in Eluru. Kakinada collector Karthikeya Mishra and Superintendent Vishal Gunni held a video conference recently to curb the violent sport and set up police teams to crack down on cockfights in the state.
Aiming to stop the events, 100 police teams were formed in Kakinada and 60 teams in Rajamahendravaram.
Recently, the Supreme Court had upheld the High Court’s order banning the violent sport.
It noted that the ‘sport’ should be banned not just during Sankranti, but on all occasions.