Telangana

Telangana punters bet high on Andhra Pradesh rooster fights

A crowd gathers to watch a cockfight on the Andhra side of the border on Saturday.

A crowd gathers to watch a cockfight on the Andhra side of the border on Saturday.

 

Several mango orchards on the Andhra Pradesh side of the inter-State border hosted cockfights, banned violent sport involving roosters, with many punters from the old undivided Khammam district of Telangana betting huge sums of money running into lakhs in the “high-stakes, multi-crore gambling” during Sankranti festival on Saturday.

Sources said several high-profile punters from both Khammam and Bhadradri-Kothagudem district and elsewhere in the State participated in cockfighting by pitching their trained roosters in the ring at various venues on the other side of the border in Andhra Pradesh’s West Godavari, East Godavari and Krishna districts on Saturday.

The cockfights were held at multiple locations mostly in mango and oil palm plantations in the border districts of neighbouring State with a significant chunk of punters hailing from the erstwhile composite Khammam district.

At several venues, which resembled battle grounds, the COVID-19 safety precautions were thrown to wind as revellers flocked to the venues in hordes to watch the banned bloodsport.

Organisers of the cockfights raked in the moolah by encashing the craze among punters for betting on rooster fights during Sankranti festivities.

The venues of cockfighting events at Kamaiahpalem and Jeelugumilli in the neighbouring West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh witnessed heavy rush of revellers with the organisers erecting tents and encouraging the punters to bid large sums of money running into several lakhs on rooster fighting, said a reveller from Aswaraopeta, who had gone to watch the cockfights in the adjoining State.

The venues resembled battlegrounds with roosters pitched against each other in the bloodsport, said the reveller, who did not wish to be identified, over phone.

When contacted, Kallur Assistant Commissioner of Police Venkatesh told The Hindu that vigil has been mounted at border check points in Sattupalli, Vemsoor, and V M Banjara mandals along the inter-state border with Andhra Pradesh as part of strict enforcement of the prohibitory orders to prevent spread of COVID-19 during Sankranti festivities.

Surveillance has been intensified in the border mandals abutting Andhra Pradesh to prevent cockfighting during this Sankranti festivities, he added.


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Printable version | May 24, 2022 6:06:09 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/telangana-punters-bet-high-on-andhra-pradesh-rooster-fights/article38275820.ece