Police arrest 700 persons in raid during three-day Sankranti festival

‘Sankanti' is primarily a harvest festival. But thousands of roosters are ‘inhumanly' killed in the name of ‘cockfights'.

In many villages, the lush green fields in Krishna district are drenched in blood and several cocks ‘brutally' killed in the fierce fights organised during the three-day festival.

Krishna district Superintendent of Police P.V.S. Ramakrishna told The Hindu that the police arrested about 700 persons, including cock-fight organisers and those indulged in gambling, and confiscated 42 birds in the raids. They seized nearly Rs.12 lakh from the accused.

“It is not correct to say that permission was given for cockfights in some areas. Police organised more than 100 raids during Sankranthi'', the Superintendent of Police said.

But, the ‘pandem' (fight) was a ‘death sentence' for the fowls as one of the two cocks die in a pathetic condition with knife injuries, and the other too suffers fatal injuries on wings and other parts.

The villagers will organise the ‘pandem' till one of the cocks dies and watch the fight with full enjoyment.

On some occasions, the organisers are known to apply sedatives and even poison to the knives, tied to the cocks' legs to kill the rival bird.

When a reporter of this paper visited the villages during the festival, several cocks were seen killed with their heads chopped off or falling on the blood soaked ground.

The organisers were seen applying the blood of the defeated cock to the winner fowl, blowing whistles and enjoying the game. Later, they shared the meat of the cock which was killed in the fight.

‘Deadly game'

‘Cockfights' were organised in several villages and many people from neighbouring districts thronged the district during ‘Bhogi', ‘Sankranthi', and `Kanuma' days to watch the ‘deadly game'.

Ramakrishna of Kaikaluru said: “It is a fact that ‘cockfights' are very inhumane as it was the last day for one of the roosters. Some times both the cocks die in the fight,'' he said.

“Many people talk about animal sacrifices during ‘jataras', but nobody talks about ‘cockfights' in which thousands of birds are killed in just three days. It is really pathetic that the lush green fields are being turned red with blood'', said Seeta Mahalakshmi of Gudivada.