Police warn cockfight organisers of stern action in East Godavari district
638 knives used in cockfights seized between January 1 and 9 in the district
Kakinada: The East Godavari district police are taking stern steps to curb cockfights in the district during Sankranti festival.
They are also issuing stern warnings to the people who may indulge in cockfights. Stringent action will be initiated against those who allot the vacant sites for the purpose of cockfights.
The traditional cockfight sport seems to be a very dull affair this Sankranti festival as many of the organisers are not showing enthusiasm for the traditional sport. Sankranti festival is a traditional and cultural festival and cockfights are a very important traditional sport in Godavari districts. Crores of rupees exchange hands in the name of betting on the three days during the festival.
Though it is a gambling sport and against the law as per Gambling Act, during these three days the police and revenue officials usually to keep silence.
Generally, the cockfight enthusiasm starts 45 to 60 days before the Sankranti with prize cocks and others. But for the past seven years, there is widespread publicity against the cockfights by the animal lovers. Many of the animal lovers approached the courts seeking stoppage of the cockfight. The High Court also delivered judgements against the cockfights and directed the governments to prevent it and take action against the gamblers. The police and revenue officials used to face a daunting task of curbing the sport during Sankranti due to political interference.
This year, covid-19 virus has added to weakening the cockfight gambling. Many of the organisers have not shown enthusiasm and the police are also not able to find them out as the traditional organisers are keeping away from the sport. "The people's mood is not favourable for cockfights this year. Nobody even enquired about prize cocks in markets,'' said a prize cock seller. He said that the cock breeders can't get their investments this year.
The East Godavari district police are keeping vigil on the suspected organisers and punters and seizing sharp knives. So far more than 103 knives have been seized. Under the supervision of the Superintendent of Police Adnan Nayeem Asmi and the guidance of the Amalapuram DSP Y Madhav Reddy, Razole police special team raided on Tuesday in Malkipuram mandal and the knives meant for the purpose of attaching to cockfights were seized.
Sub-Inspector Naga Raju said that they arrested two persons and warned that during the festival, if anybody indulges in vulgar dances with lewd songs will be immediately arrested.
District Superintendent of Police Adnan Nayeem Asmi said that a task force has been formed to curb the cockfights and a campaign is being conducted by the police personnel to discourage them to attend cockfights as they are against the law. They created awareness through a public address system, conducted awareness programs in the villages. The district police conducted joint inspections which were conducted by the local police and Revenue officials and served notices to the concerned.
They identified organisers and previous players have been bound over under section 110 (e) of the Criminal Procedure Code by the concerned Mandal Executive Magistrates. So far 296 FIRs have been registered and 912 persons were bound over and 638 knives were seized from January 1 to 9 in the district. SP Asmi requested the people to celebrate the festival with their family members, relatives and friends without involving in gambling.
Amalapuram Sub-Collector Himanshu Kaushik said that those who violate the norms pertaining to cockfights will be taken to task and severe punishment will be given to them. He said that in view of Covid-19 people should not gather in groups in villages. He issued instructions to the police officials to install CC cameras where the cockfights will be conducted.