The Andhra Pradesh police have intensified their vigil on cockfighting and other forms of betting, following High Court orders.

Two cocks fighting as people around them watch the fight Image for representation
news Gambling Sunday, January 10, 2021 - 14:31

Andhra Pradesh's West Godavari district police have seized 482 knives, used for tying to the feet of cocks during cockfights, as part of their crackdown on illegal activities on the occasion of Sankranthi on Saturday. Police seized the knives from three people at Mupparthipadu centre in Ganapavaram mandal, the epicentre of cockfights.

"On investigation, the trio said they were making arrangements for Sankranthi cockfights and to tie the knives to cocks during the festival," said an official.

Not everyone is allowed to fasten the knives, as only experts are allowed, considering huge amounts of money is at stake on the cocks during the Sankrathi cockfight gambling.

“Three persons in possession of 482 knives near Mupparthipadu centre of Ganapavaram mandal, have confessed on being questioned that the knives were to be used for  tying to the feet of cocks that will be used for Sankranthi cockfights.  The knives have been seized and a case has been registered,” West Godavari police tweeted. 

Similarly, police intensified their vigil on other forms of betting such as gundata (dice rolled board game), poker and others.

Penumatra police seized eight gambling boards and tables from brothers Naralasetty Venkateshwara Rao and Chandram on Saturday.

This gambling equipment was recovered from a shed near paddy fields.

Meanwhile, Chittoor district Superintendent of Police S Senthil Kumar instructed police officials to mount a tight vigil, aimed at averting cockfights and jallikattu. He called for coordination between the police, revenue and animal welfare departments in this effort.

Senthil Kumar directed that teams comprising a tehsildar, sub-inspector and an animal welfare official must fan out into the villages with public address systems to make announcements about the forbidden activities.

Following orders from the Andhra Pradesh High Court, Senthil Kumar said violators would be booked under animal cruelty and AP Gaming Act.

Likewise, Prakasam district police are also making similar arrangements. "It is a legal offence to conduct cockfights and bettings during the Sankranti festival, as per the orders of the High Court,'' said a Prakasam district official.

In addition to public announcements, panchayat secretaries and village revenue officers are expected to paste notices that cockfights are not allowed in farmlands, gardens, villages and public places.

"The joint inspection team constituted as per the directives of the High Court, has the power to carry out raids on cockfights, seize the cash (betting amount) and roosters, and take legal action against organisers," he said.

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