Rajahmundry: Armed with High Court order upholding ban on conduct of cockfights in any form any time, including during the ensuing Sankranti festival in the state, the police and the animal rights activists are carrying out an awareness drive against the cockfights among the people. The police are instructing the people to avoid the practice of such fights that are organised in Godavari districts.
Police teams headed by the senior officers are visiting the vulnerable areas and advising the local people not to organise cockfights by explaining about the recent High Court direction. They say that some people are under the impression that cockfights can be organised in a traditional form without involving betting and tying knives to the cocks. But they made it clear that cockfight in any form ought not to be organised not only during the ensuing Sankranti festival but at any time. They also warned of stringent action if the people indulged in cockfights and any other illegal activities like playing cards, ‘Gundata’ and prostitution.
The police informed the villagers that conducting cockfights leads to subjecting the birds to cruelty, the organisers would be booked under the provisions of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. Rampachodavaram police conducted an awareness programme on cockfights and gambling involving about 1,000 people at Nellipudi village in East Godavari.
When the police explained about the HC order, the villagers agreed to avoid conducting cockfights especially during the ensuing Sankranti festival. Rampachodavaram ASP Adnan Nayeem Asmi administered pledge to the villagers to abstain from conducting or taking part in cockfights. By distributing volleyball kits, the police asked the youth to play the sport for physical fitness and promised to conduct tournaments during Sankranti.
Adnan Nayeem Asmi said that their drive evoked a good response from the villagers. “We are going to organise similar programmes in other vulnerable villages.” Humane Society International/India MD N.G. Jayasimha said, “We are extending support to the state by providing resource persons to form inspection teams to check cockfights and other illegal activities in districts with Sankranti festival round the corner.”...