Vijayawada villages gear up for cockfights

Internet became a new platform for the cockfighters

Vijayawada: Sankranti, the favourite festival of Telugu people, is hardly two months away and rural folk who look forward for their favourite sport have started gearing up for the season of cockfights.

Though there is a restriction by government the blood sport continues to take place and the ruling party leaders themselves organise cockfights in the guise of Sankranti special celebrations in all mandals of the district and other parts of the state.

Even a posh location in Vijayawada hosted a cockfight event organised by local legislatures. That was the growing craze for the cockfights in urban areas too. While majority are gearing up with their roosters nurtured since long, others are making use of Internet to sell off and buy roosters and get ready for the festival season in advance.

The activity of cockfighting picks up with the new vigour and reaches a high during the three days of Sankranti in the third week of January.

“Not now, we started preparing our roosters soon after the last festival season. Only such well fed roosters turn strong contenders in the fight and take on the enemy,” said Mr L. Venkata Rama Rao, a villager from Ganna-varam mandal.

Adding to the frenzy is the Internet which became a new platform for the cockfighters. A rooster is being sold between Rs 30,000 and Rs 5000 through classified websites in and around Vijayawada and Guntur.

Depending on the race of the rooster, rate is fixed and a top class rooster is even sold for lakhs of rupees as the festival approaches. That is the frenzy with which cockfights are played during the festival.

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( Source : deccan chronicle )
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