ELURU: Despite strict warning from the police department, enthusiasts are leaving no stone unturned to organise cockfights in West Godavari district, famous for the banned sport during Sankranti. Reportedly, people’s representatives of the area have received huge amounts of money to smoothen out any difficulties that may arise in organising the blood sport.
With elections round the corner, they are reportedly encouraging the organisers to hold such events, even though they are illegal, with the sole intention of protecting their hold on voters. Cockfight arenas in the district, apart from being gambling dens, are expected to act as platforms during this year’s celebrations where the representatives can negotiate deals for the ensuing elections.
Several lakhs of money is gambled on the sport, for which even some celebrities were found to be showing interest on previous occasions. Sources in the know say money ranging between `25 lakh and `80 lakh changed hands between cockfight organisers, who, with ‘assurance’ from people’s representatives, are expecting to make a quick buck during betting sessions.
People, not only from the district and different parts of the State, but also from neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka, Odisha and Maharashtra visit West Godavari to witness cockfights.