Rajahmundry: 95 get 3-day jail for cockfights

RAJAHMUNDRY: Giving a major shock to mainly the politicians who propounded the conduct of cockfights during Sankranti festival claiming that this was an age-old tradition, a local court awarded a sentence of three days of jail term and imposed a fine of `100 each to 95 persons at Nidadavole in West Godavari on Wednesday.

The police booked the 95 persons during the three days of Sankranti festival on charges of participating in cockfights under section 9 (1) of AP Gaming Act, 1974. They were also booked under section 188 of IPC for violating the section 144 of CrPC promulgated during the three days of the festival to stop people from conducting or participating in cockfights. Police also slapped section 2 (1)(A) of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 on the arrested persons. 

The judicial first class magistrate court at Nidadavole during the hearing awarded the sentence imposing three days of jail term and also a fine of Rs 100 each on the 95 persons. Even as the Hyderabad High Court imposed a ban on conduct of cockfights with or without knives and it was upheld by the Supreme Court, several political leaders including Kakinada MP Mr. Thota Narasimham and Pitapuram MLA Mr. S.V.S.N. Varma openly inaugurated the cockfight ceremonies by releasing the cocks in the circle in full public glare claiming that it was not wrong to conduct cockfights in a traditional manner. 

Dendulur MLA Mr. Chinthamaneni Prabhakar had come up with the same argument to encourage cockfights in the name of tradition. Anantapur MP Mr. J.C. Diwakar Reddy witnessed the conduct of cockfights at a village in West Godavari. BJP leader Mr. Raghurama Krishnam Raju even approached the Supreme Court with a fresh petition to obtain a stay order on the ban but in vain as his petition was dismissed. The HC recently expressed its ire against the State Government for failing to control the conduct of cockfights.

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