Roosters are being brought from various places

Even as police has begun raids to prevent ‘cockfights', the activity has started in many villages ahead of ‘Sankranti' festival.

The villagers are preparing to organise cockfights on a large-scale with betting having stakes running into lakhs of rupees particularly on ‘Bogi', ‘Sankranti', ‘Kanuma' and ‘Mukkanuma' days (from January 14 to 17).

Locals have told The Hindu that crores of rupees will change hands in betting during cockfights which will be organised in big way in the district.

Bigwigs from Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, East Godavari, Guntur, Visakhapatnam, Prakasham, and other districts will attend the cockfights, they say. Roosters are brought from different places in West Godavari and Krishna districts for the fights and the locals select places for conducting cockfights in mango and coconut orchards, sugarcane fields, and other secure spots.

In Krishna district cockfights are getting arranged in Muvva, Nuzvid, Mylavaram, Bantumilli, Vuyyuru,Gannavaram, Nagayalanka, Avanigadda, and Kankipadu. Liquor shops, biryani-points, non-vegetarian fast food centres, pan shops, and even entertainment programmes are arranged at the venues, says Nagaraju of Rudrapaka village.

“Cocks named as ‘kaki dega', ‘tella nemali', ‘kaki nemali', ‘setuva', ‘pacha kaki', ‘nallabotla setuva' and ‘nalla dega' will be used for cockfights. Depending upon the colours of the roosters, experts fix ‘muhurtams' for the fights,” says a cockfight organiser Rambabu of Muvva village.

The roosters will be specially trained in villages for ‘fights' and the owners feed them with ‘badam', ‘mutton kheema', ‘tender coconut water', ‘onions' and ‘eggs'. The cost of a healthy rooster ranges between Rs.30,000 and Rs.50,000.

Christened – ‘cheekati pandem', ‘musugu pandem' and ‘vennela pandem' -- the organisers arrange the fights and film actors, politicians, landlords, realtors, and even some women attend the cock-fights and put stakes of Rs.1 lakh to Rs.15 lakh or above, says Sreenu of Kankipadu.

Raids

Superintendent of Police P.V.S. Ramakrishna, has told The Hindu that instructions had been issued to the police to conduct massive raids in the district to prevent ‘cockfights'.

Keywords: Cockfight

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