Thursday, February 22, 2024

Punters have a field day

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PNS|Vijayawada

Despite various restrictions imposed by the Police department against organising cockfights, gambling, and other activities during the Sankranti festival time, punters had a field day with hundreds of crores of rupees changing hands on the first of the festival on Saturday.

The Opposition parties say that it is a clear failure of the Police department in preventing cockfights and gambling at various places across the State. A large number of cockfight rings and gambling centres were arranged in the erstwhile Krishna district. On the first day of Sankranti, approximately Rs 100 crore of money is said to have changed hands at gambling centres at Ampapuram of Bapulapadu mandal and Edupugallu of Penamaluru mandal.

According to sources, gambling is being organised at Ampapuram by the followers of Gannavaram MLA. Play-cards, ‘Gundata’ and other gambling activities are being organised besides cockfights.

Sources say that gamling centres were arranged very close to the police stations but the officials are said to be turning Nelson’s eye to them. In the Vijayawada suburbs, an MLA is conducting a big gambling centre beside the six-lane NHAI bypass road, located at Jakkampudi panchayat. Also, cockfight centres are arranged at Kotturu Tadepalli, Ampapuram, Ibrahimpatnam, G Konduru, Mylavaram, Jaggaiahpet, Surampalli, Mustabad, Shobhanapuram, and other areas.

TDP State president Atchannaidu came down heavily on the gambling and cockfight activities during the festival time. He alleged that the ruling YSRC was encouraging cockfights and gambling against the rules. The TDP leader asked what message the ruling party was sending by encouraging cockfights and gambling across the State. He pointed out that the police who question the gambling organisers are being attacked.

CM Jagan Mohan Reddy, who had vowed to stop gambling activities in the State, should tell what happened to the bill brought in by his government two years ago in the name of the Anti-Gambling Act, the TDP State president said.

Atchannaidu further said that YSRC MLAs, MPs and Ministers, who are least bothered about the development of the State, are allowing such unsocial activities. He said that the police should respond and stop the cockfights and gambling centres.

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