VIJAYAWADA: Tension prevailed for a while in Eedupugallu village of Kankipadu mandal on Saturday when Penamaluru MLA Bode Prasad got into a heated argument with the police, who prevented the villagers from holding cockfights under the guise of Sankranti celebrations in a four-acre land.
The arrangements supposedly made for Sankranti celebrations by the village sarpanch and other local TDP leaders led to tension between the police and MLA’s aides when the former reached the spot and tried to evict the people from there. With the situation turning tense, police imposed Section 144 and set up pickets in the village.
Joint police commissioner BV Ramana Kumar, deputy commissioner of police (DCP-I) Gajarao Bhupal and other police officials inspected the places and sealed off the ground sensing that the venue was in fact prepared for holding cockfights.
Upon learning about the police action, MLA Bode Prasad reached the spot and raised objection to their action. “They are organizing games and cultural activities on the occasion of Sankranti. Assuming that cockfights were being conducted, the police took control of the ground and sent away the villagers. This is highly objectionable,” said the MLA.
However, the MLA supported the blood sport and claimed it’s a part of Sankranti tradition. “If cockfights were to be banned, then there should be a ban on sale of chicken meat. We are killing them (chicken) for meat. It’s a four-day affair and it is good if there is an exemption on it,” Prasad opined. However, police said they would implement the orders of the Supreme Court and the High Court banning cockfights. Joint police commissioner BV Ramana Kumar said they received credible information about some people organising cockfights in the name of rangoli and cultural activities as part of the festival celebrations.
Police also stepped in and prevented cockfights in a village in Vuyyuru mandal. “All the police concerned have been instructed to take stringent action against the organisers and punters who indulge in illegal activities like cockfights, gambling, etc. Special forces have been deployed at identified problematic areas,” Ramana Kumar told ENS.