Thursday, May 23, 2024

Erstwhile Krishna district gearing up for cockfights

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DASARI SRINIVASA RAO
Vijayawada

The villages of the combined Krishna district are gearing up to organise cockfights for the traditional Sankranti festival, whether the State government and the Police Department give permission for the same or not. During the three days of Sankranti, the villages of Krishna, West Godavari, and East Godavari districts are usually packed with cockfight punters and spectators.

Two big rings are getting ready at Ampapuram of Bapulapadu mandal and Edupugallu of Kankipade mandal while the organisers are making elaborate arrangements with the support of people’s representatives and ruling YSRCP leaders. The police have not taken any steps to prevent cockfights as they had done earlier. Previously, they had ravaged cockfighting rings set up in mango gardens. This year, no action has been taken by the Krishna police or the NTR district police. However, NTR District Collector Dr S Dilli Rao has released a poster and warned the organisers not to hold cockfights in the district. Cockfight lovers, not just from other States, but foreign countries, visit Krishna and Godavari districts during this period to participate in the blood sport.

Elaborate arrangements for spectators
Meanwhile, the organisers are making arrangements to conduct cockfights at Ampapuram, Edupugallu, Kotturu Tadepalli, Vissannapet, Nuzvid, Agiripalli, Kondapalli, Tiruvuru, and other areas in the combined Krishna district. The second cadres of the ruling YSRCP leaders have been approaching their respective MLAs, MPs and ministers including the party constituency in charge to provide police permission for conducting cockfights. Also, they are urging leaders that the police should not create any trouble.

Every year, the police give warnings to cockfight organisers and those who tie knives to cocks. According to the information available from the Police and the Revenue departments, no action has been started in the combined Krishna district regarding stopping cockfights. In this situation, the ruling YSRCP leaders are getting ready to conduct the sport at various places.

This year, YSRCP leaders from Vijayawada are also showing interest in organising cockfights at the real estate ventures in and around Vijayawada city. They are in search of suitable places including parking, seating and setting up food courts. A constituency in-charge is more interested in conducting cockfights near Nunna. Meanwhile, the party leaders in Nunna village are also searching for mango gardens for conducting cockfights.

Invitation cards, videos released on social media
Ampapuram village in Krishna district, which is situated adjacent to the national highway, was well known for conducting cockfights. During the three days of Sankranti festival, hundreds of crores of rupees are exchanged among punters, particularly in the Ampapuram ring.

Rangoli competitions and cricket and volleyball tournaments are also being organised on the sidelines, at the private real estate venture adjacent to the national highway at Ampapuram. They are making special arrangements for people from other States and NRIs to participate in cockfights.

Interestingly, this time the organisers are inviting people to the cockfights through cards. Also, they prepared a video in this regard and posted it on social media.

Apart from Ampapuram, rings are getting ready at Nuzvid, Agiripalli, Shobhanapuram, Edara, AdaviNekkalam, Nekkalam–Gollagudem, Musunuru, Chatrai, Vissannapet, Tiruvuru, Putrela, Gampalagudem, A Konduru, Mylavaram and G Konduru. Also, the organisers are making arrangements for the same at the mango gardens in Kotturu Tadepalli, Nunna, Ambapuram and Vijayawada city.

NTR Collector Dilli Rao has released a wall poster and directed the Revenue and Animal Husbandry department officials to conduct a campaign against cockfights. “If anybody organises cockfights within the limits of the district, stringent action will be taken,” he warned.

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