1 dies in Andhra Pradesh cockfight mishap, several injured in group clashes

RAJAHMUNDRY: A 55-year-old man, Saripalli Venkateswara Rao, died when the razor-sharp knife tied to a rooster pierced his thigh during a cockfight in Pragadavaram village of Chintalapudi mandal in West Godavari.
Defying Supreme Court ban, cockfights were held on a large-scale at several places in East and West Godavari districts as part of Makara Sankranti celebrations.
In a group clash at Kavvagunta village of Pedavegi mandal, 10 persons suffered injuries. In another clash in Chintam Palli village, two persons were injured. Gangaram Maresh from Khammam district sustained severe injuries and another person, yet to be identified, suffered a fracture in his leg. Both were shifted to Chintalapudu government hospital.
Police used drones to record cockfights in several areas. According to sources, cockfights were held in about 500 rings in the two districts.
The organizers of cockfights had tied knives to the roosters in violation of the Supreme Court orders. Huge amounts of money were bet on these fights.
Police could not prevent the cockfights which had tacit support of ministers and MLAs. Many of them were seen attending the events at several places. Telangana minister for animal husbandry Talasani Srinivas Yadav attended cockfights in Undi in West Godavari.
Betting was not limited to cockfights alone. Gundata and playing cards too drew large crowds. Food and liquor were sold at makeshift stalls and parking arrangements made at almost all venues.
313 held for cockfighting in Krishna district
The outskirts of Vijayawada within the commissionerate limits witnessed several illegal cockfighting events and cops managed to crackdown on 104 persons and registered 27 cases during the last two days of Sankranti festival. Cops seized 62 cockerels and recovered Rs 1.7 lakh cash from gambling spots. In Krishna district police unit, a total of 313 persons were arrested and Rs 1.1lakh cash was seized along with 185 roosters and 208 knives.

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