Police have intensified their crackdown on cockfight organisers ahead of the Sankranti festival which is just over a month away.
Patrolling is being done in villages, with police officials instructed to bind over organisers, punters and gamblers who engage in the banned sport.
Raids are being conducted on farms where roosters were being tamed, and at places where the bloodsport was conducted clandestinely in the past, police said.
“Cases will be registered against the accused under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, Section 9 (1) of Gaming Act, Arms Act, 1959 and other charges against cockfight organisers and gamblers,” the police warned.
The NTR District Police Commissionerate and the Krishna district police stepped up vigil along the Krishna riverbed, island villages and in the villages where cockfight arenas were arranged in the previous years.
“Police raided workshops where the knives meant to be used in cockfights were being made. Several knifes were seized apart from the equipment used to make them,” said a police officer, who participated in the raid.
Besides enforcement, the Revenue, Police and Animal Husbandry Departments were planning to conduct awareness programmes in villages to prevent rooster fights. Teams will visit the hamlets and organise awareness programmes with the help of village and community heads, police said.
“Special teams will maintain a vigil in Nuzvid, Kalidindi, Kaikalur, Gudivada, Mudinepalli, Korukallu, Bantumilli, Pedana, Tiruvur, Jaggaiahpeta, Machilipatnam, Nagayalanka, Manikonda, Avanigadda, Nandigama, Kanchikacherla and other places,” a police officer said.
“To wean away youth from participating in cockfights and other prohibited games, we are planning to conduct games such as ‘Kabaddi’, ‘Kho-Kho’, ‘Volley Ball’, ‘Rangoli’ and other competitions for villagers,” said Krishna Superintendent of Police P. Joshua.
‘Tom-toming’ in villages
Eluru Range Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police G. Pala Raju on Monday said that ‘tom-toming’ will be done in villages to raise awareness on the ban on rooster fights during Sankranti.
“Police are identifying cockfight organisers, habitual punters and those involved in manufacturing knives, as well as those who are giving land for organising the cockfights. We request the youth not to participate in cockfights and celebrate the harvest festival in a peaceful, traditional manner,” Mr. Pala Raju said.