Ban does not deter punters

Supreme Court order, demonetisation fail to deter event organisers in East and West Godavari districts

January 13, 2017 10:31 pm | Updated January 14, 2017 08:16 am IST - KAKINADA:

A cockfight in progress at Gundugolanu in West Godavari district on Friday.

A cockfight in progress at Gundugolanu in West Godavari district on Friday.

As the clock struck 9 on Friday morning, cockfights were launched at about 200 venues in East Godavari and West Godavari districts for this year’s Sankranti season.

None of the organisers missed the auspicious ‘muhurtam’, and the local elected representatives attended the event as chief guests. Neither the court’s directive nor demonetisation deterred the organisers and punters from running the show to “continue the tradition”.

Going by the first day’s transactions, it is estimated that the total turnover of this year’s cockfights in the two districts would be about Rs. 1,000 crore, as punters from places such as Hyderabad and Bengaluru arrived here only to stake. Playing cards and other sorts of gambling were arranged at the venues, where liquor flowed freely. To cash in on the new releases, punters named the roosters as ‘Khaidi’ and ‘Satakarni’ before leaving them into the battlefield.

In all, over a dozen venues in both the Godavari districts were said to be the high-end ones where the stakes were reportedly ranging from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh, while at the remaining places it was anything between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 1 lakh. In East Godavari district, Vetlapalem and Godilanka were among the places where stakes were very high. Interestingly, the former comes under Peddapuram Assembly constituency, represented by Home Minister N. Chinna Rajappa, while the latter is close to his native place in Konaseema.

The venues were equipped with arenas, galleries and floodlights to ensure the conduct of cockfights round the clock. Media cameras, however, were strictly prohibited. “The organisers told us very politely not to turn up for the cockfights,” said Chaitanya, cameramen from a vernacular news channel. Over Rs. 1 crore was said to have changed hands in the very first hour at Muramalla village in East Godavari district. Modes of payment such as Point of Sale devices and Internet banking were being used at the high-end venues.

In West Godavari, district president of the Bharatiya Janata Party B. Srinivasa Varma formally launched the ‘wrestling competition for roosters’ at Bhimavaram, in which leaders of the ruling Telugu Desam Party and local industrialists were present.

The police were not visible in the surroundings of the cockfight venues.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.