Ignoring HC ban,Â people bet heavily on cockfights
Kakinada: Cockfights were conducted on Saturday on the occasion of Bhogi festival, the first day of Sankranti on an unprecedented note defying High Court ban on the rural traditional sport on the grounds of cruelty.
Even though some major organizers from the Kshatriya community stayed away from the sport this season, it was conducted at several places with much enthusiasm and fanfare. The initial betting began Rs 25 lakh near Degapuram betting ground, Bhimavaram in West Godavari district.
The venue was sold for Rs one crore. In order to establish secrecy a digitized ID tag was introduced. Those entering the ground had to pay Rs 3,000 entry fee and tie the tag all through.
At Ravulapalem, Kothapeta MLA Chirla Jaggireddy drove away a police officer from the ground, when he tried to stop cockfights.
“You need not come to the cockfight venue. This site belongs to me. If you wish to, you should file a case against me'' he told the police official. This video went viral in the social media.
Many MLAs and corporators from Telangana State and software engineers participated. Almost all rooms in lodges at Bhimavaram were filled with punters, who paid up to Rs 30,000 to Rs 55,000 for a five-day package.
Actors like Kishore Abbavaram-SR Kalyan Mandapam, Sameer and others participated as did casino regular Chikoti Praveen.
West Godavari’s Eluru, Kakinada and East Godavari districts featured cockfights and gambling games like Gundata and playing cards. In Konaseema district, the police only allowed cockfights.
In all villages, YSRC and Telugu Desam cadres came on one platform and organized cockfights along with gundata and other gambling games. In Pangidi village of Kovvuru constituency,- the native village of home minister Taneti Vanitha, YSRC and Telugu Desam organized cockfights, which the latter dominated. The home minister told an electronic media channel that she was helpless as all parties have come onto one platform for cockfights.
In Sunkarapalem, the border village of Kakinada district and Yanam, cockfights were held on a grand scale while in Kaikaluru constituency, some police officials participated in cockfight betting.
While large crowds turned up in Mudinepalli, Mandapalli and other areas, in Thimmapuram of Kakinada district, police did not allow any gambling activities.
In Konaseema district, organizers expressed their dissatisfaction as gambling games were banned. According to them, though cockfights are a major attraction, they earn more money in gambling games as a large number of people are betting on the games and it also sees heavy liquor sales.