Two men die during cockfights in Andhra Pradesh, activity continues unabated despite ban

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On Sunday, January 15, two persons died in separate cockfight incidents on account of Sankranti in Andhra Pradesh. The incidents took place in the districts of West Godavari and Kakinada, where cockfights were held despite a law in force banning them. Cockfights involve tying sharp knives to a rooster’s feet in cockfights in order to kill the opposing rooster while significant sums of money are typically wagered on these fights.

The first victim, Padma Rao, was present at the cockfight at Ananthapalli, Nallajerla mandal. The 20-year-old was charged at by a rooster. The knife attached to the rooster’s foot penetrated his leg, severing his nerves and causing heavy bleeding. He was taken to a hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Inspector Lakshmareddy of Ananthapalli informed TNM that the incident happened on Sunday at 1 pm and that the cockfight’s organizers were arrested for negligence.

In the second incident, a man named Gande Surya injured his wrist while attempting to tie a knife to the rooster’s leg in Velanka village, Kakinada district. He started to bleed heavily and passed away before being carried to the hospital. According to Tirupati Rao, Sub Inspector of Kirlampudi, the organizers were charged with negligence in this incident as well.

Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 and the Andhra Pradesh Gaming Act of 1974, cockfighting was outlawed in the state in 2014 with the ban being upheld again in 2018. In spite of its illegality, cockfighting still occurs unabated in the Andhra Pradesh.

During festivals like Sankranti, these illegal cockfights are much more prevalent, mostly in the coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh, including NTR, Krishna, Eluru, West Godavari, East Godavari, Dr. BR Ambedkar Konaseema, Kakinada, Rajamahendravaram, Guntur, Prakasam, and Nellore.

Police also recently booked over 1000 people who were organizing and participating in illegal cockfights across the state.