Organizers ready with roosters, police firm to check cockfights

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Vijayawada Jan 11 (UNI) All set ready for the mega event of traditional cockfights, organised during the Pongal festival in which crores of rupees staked on cockfight gambling even though the police are firm to have a check on it as per the High Court order.

The cockfights are organised during the four days of Pongal festival, called locally as Sankranthi. West Godavari district has earned dubious distinction for bloody fight while East Godavari, Krishna and Guntur Districts are also known for cockfight gambling.

The High Court expressed its anger over the official machinery for their laxity in taking firm steps to curb the cockfight last year. The HC has taken a serious note of organizing cockfights violating orders and passed strict instructions to the government, Collectors and Superintendents of Police to take firm steps to contain the cockfight gambling, with iron hand. However, the police finding it difficult to implement the court orders to check cockfight as political leaders of all parties openly participate in the gambling.

Krishna District Collector B Lakshmikantham said that committees had been constituted at divisional and mandal levels to keep a vigil on the cockfights. West Godavari SP said that arrangements were being made to erect banners sensitizing people that organizing cockfights is an offence. West Godavari Collector K Bhaskar warned to hold revenue officials responsible, if cockfights are organised in their divisions.

The police are also warning the land owners not to give lands to organize cockfights. The police have already seized roosters at some places and registered bind over cases against the violators.

Interestingly, political leaders, including MLAs have taken a prestigious issue about Organizing cockfights and they have started inviting celebrities, including film stars. As the HC is serious against cockfights, the people are waiting with anxiety on how the police curb the gambling, overcoming the political influence. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu also appealed to the people and leaders to keep away for the bloody gambling.

Organizers said that over Rs 250 crore would be staked on the cockfight in the four districts. Film stars, industrialists, builders and leaders of political parties from Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai throng the areas to stake on the bloody gambling during the four days.

Meanwhile, unheeding the police warnings, the organizers of cockfights are making arrangements for the sport in a big way. The traditional cockfight is assuming high-tech colours as arrangements are being made to beam the cockfights online live and to attract NRIs to indulge in gambling from their respective countries. Building sprawling areas, VIP enclosures, installing of digital screens and cameras are being made at Narasapuram, Bhimavaram, Tanuku, Palkollu, Nidadavolu, Amalapuram, Eluru and other areas. Interestingly, a centre was set up in Santhamaguluru in Prakasam district especially to train the roosters. Special trainers were also arranged to impart training and enhance fighting spirit among the roosters, which indicates how importance the organizers are giving to win in the event.

An amount of Rs.300 is spent every day on each rooster to provide costly food, including almond and cashew nuts. There are special species in roosters called as Kaki, Nemali, Dega, Sethuva, Maila and Nemali Kaki which have ferocious fight spirits.

The roosters are made to swim and do some special exercise as part of the special training. Each trained roosters is sold at Rs.60,000 to Rs.1 lakh, N Sambashiva Rao a trainee said.
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