Cock Fights To Carry On During Sankranti Despite the HC Ban

cock fights
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Cock fights during Sankranti festival is a time old tradition in the coastal districts, especially in the East and West Godavari districts. The barbaric custom has people training and bringing up roosters, especially for fighting another rooster on this day to death. Blades are tied to the legs of the roosters during the fights. A lot of money is laid on bets during these fights, including, if reports are to be believed, by influential people. People come in from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and parts of North India to witness these fights.

The High Court has banned cock fights in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana not just during Sankranti but even in general. Based on a petition filed by animal welfare societies, the High Court instructed the state governments to stop allowing people to organise these fights and take stern action against those who violate orders. They have also asked the governments to take action against liquor consumption and gambling during this season.

Reportedly, organisers from Konaseema and delta areas in the Godavari districts have already identified land to be levelled to build arenas. According to TOI, the areas surrounding Katrenikona, Rajolu, Mandapeta, Amalapuram, Sakhinetipalli, and P Gannavaram in East Godavari as well as Narsapuram, Palakollu, Vundi, Kalla, Vissa Koduru, Bondada Lanka, and Attili in West Godavari are being used as venues as these island villages are ‘safe places to carry out the training’. One of the organisers even told TOI that otherwise they have to bribe cops. The fights are set to start in the second week of January despite the court orders.

Red, tan, black and white roosters have reportedly been brought in from Madhurai, Salem and Kanyakumari. Demonetisation seems to have done good here as it is expected to effect the cock fights this year. Usually several lakhs of rupees are placed as bets, with the amount going up to Rs 3 crore and people even placing their immovable properties as bets.

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