Though there are several restrictions, it is a tradition for many people living in rural areas and coastal Andhra.

High Court tells Andhra to crackdown on cock-fights during SankrantiImage: Wikipedia Commons/Amshudhagar
news Wednesday, December 30, 2015 - 08:10

The Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday directed the Andhra Pradesh government to take steps and ensure that no cock fights would place in the state during the upcoming Sankranti festival days.

A report in the Times of India adds that the court, following a plea by the petitioner, also directed the police to thoroughly discourage cockfights and bettings because they are rendering several people without money.

With the festival less than two weeks away, Andhra Pradesh is set for another season of 'cockfighting' but this time, the sport has also kept up with the times and moved to the internet.

Though there are several restrictions imposed by the government, and a Supreme Court order, it is a loved sport and tradition for many people living in rural areas and coastal Andhra.

The last week of December and the first week of January see the activity reach unprecedented heights, as prices keep shooting up with each passing day. Some estimates suggest that a few thousand crores exchange hands during the festival.

The apex court in January this year, set aside the Dec 29, 2014 order of Andhra Pradesh High Court, which directed police to take action against those organising cockfights, which involved betting, sale of liquor, gambling and subjecting animals and birds to cruelty, during the festival.

The order had banned bullfighting, bullock-cart races and others sports cruel to animals and cited the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

However, the Supreme Court maintained that the ban on cockfights is still in force, and any violation will amount to contempt of court.

The fights between the specially bred and trained cocks are organised in an open location where hundreds gather to watch them. Three to four inch knives are attached to the cocks' legs and the fight continues till death.

Every year, the police conducts raids and seizes specially bred birds, but the sport continues.

Show us some love! Support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.