Techies to try their luck in cockfight

By DECCAN CHRONICLE | vadrevu srinivas

9 January 2022

Some software engineers are purchasing prized cocks to take the spotlight on the big days

KAKINADA: Many professionals, including from the IT sector, who have been working from home for the past two years are now getting ready to participate in cockfight sport during the upcoming Sankranti festival.

Having been confined to their homes, many have been desperately waiting for opportunities to come into the open to unwind. If they were working from offices, they used to enjoy weekend holidays. But, in Godavari districts, there were hardly any opportunities to enjoy holidays.

Last year, many such professionals who had to stay at their job places because of the lockdown could not visit their native places. But now, some of them are back.

This Sankranti season, they want to participate in the traditional cockfight, albeit clandestinely. Some software engineers are purchasing prized cocks to take the spotlight on the big days while some are rearing prized cocks and selling them at handsome profits.

According to sources, one software engineer in Bhimavaram mandal sold two cocks at Rs one lakh each. “With three festivals falling on weekends, many are wishing to enjoy Sankranti and make a buck in the process’’ said K.K. Raju of Bhimavaram mandal, who is an expert in cockfight games. He said that unless there are lockdowns due to Omicron, cockfights would take place.

According to sources, crores of rupees are changing hands in the shape of betting in cockfights. Organizers are expecting higher returns compared to the two Covid years.

However, many of the organizers booked bound-over cases before police. They said that they will play the traditional sport only during the three-day Sankranti festival.

Control rooms to monitor cockfight

Even as organisers of cockfight are getting ready for the three-day Sankranti celebrations, on the other side the East and West Godavari district administrations, both police and revenue, are making efforts to curb the sport as directed by the High Court.

West Godavari district collector Karthikeya Misra instructed the officials to set up control rooms in all villages during the three days. Village, mandal and divisional-level teams have been formed to identify the organizers, grounds or sites, their backgrounds and also create awareness among people about the consequences of gambling, including cockfights.

Superintendent of police of East Godavari district M. Ravindranath Babu said that the police were making use of human intelligence to identify the organizers, landowners, and punters. Village volunteers and village women welfare police have been trained to tip-off about anti-social activities and gambling, he said and added that CC Cameras are also being used to identify and nab the activities.

He said that as per their information, nearly 2600 persons were made bound-over and 3,000 cock-knives were seized so far.

West Godavari district collector Karthikeya Misra said that control rooms have been opened in seven places like Collectorate at Eluru (08812-224519, Whatsapp numbers 9154039159 and 7032914877), West Godavari SP office (08812-230100), Eluru RDO office (08812-232044), Kovvur RDO office (08813-231488), Narsapuram sub-collector office (9391185874), Jangareddygudem RDO office (8500668001) and Kukkunuru sub-collector’s office (08821-232221).

West Godavari SP Rahul Dev Sarma said that Section 144 will be imposed in all villages that are expected to host cockfight.

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