Rajahmundry: Villagers set to hold cockfights

Rajahmundry: In an attempt to mount pressure on the state government to allow cockfights to be conducted in a traditional manner, at least during the three days of the Sankranti festival, villagers passed a resolution at the Grama Sabha to conduct cockfights without any gambling or anti-social activities at Vempa village of Bhimavaram mandal in West Godavari in the late evening on Thursday. At the meeting, the villagers expressed concern about Ramachandra Raju, who had filed a petition in the Hyderabad High Court, seeking its direction to curb cockfights, as such fights involved cruelty to birds, gambling and anti-social activities.

The villagers opined that since cockfighting has been a traditional practice for a long time, they should be allowed to go ahead with it during Sankranti. They said it must be done in a traditional manner, with no knives tied to the talons of roosters. The villagers also demanded that no illegal activities like playing of cards, serving of unauthorised liquor, prostitution and other activities be held. The villagers invited the Bhimavaram MLA, Pulaparthi Ramanja-neyulu, Undi MLA, Vetukuri Venkata Siva Rama Raju, MPTCs and other public representatives to attend the Gram Sabha and passed a resolution to conduct cockfights in a traditional manner in their presence.

The villagers demanded the support of the public representatives to convince the state government to allow  cockfights without any gambling and cruelty to birds.
The villagers said that the police were booking several cases against those who were organising cockfights, seizing knives and  raiding their places and also arresting several organizers. He added that so far, 100 cases were booked in West Godavari alone this season. Sources say that people belonging to the Kshatriya community are making it a prestige issue to conduct cockfights, especially during the three days of the Sankranti festival by prevailing upon the state government to issue directions to the district authorities to remain either lenient or provide legal protection by issuing an ordinance.

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