VIJAYAWADA: Week-long efforts of the police, who destroyed rooster fighting arenas across the State and took old offenders into preventive custody, could not prevent the illegal activity and gambling on Bhogi, the first day of Sankranti, on Friday.
In Krishna district, cockfights and gambling were organised at Royyur, Uppuluru, Thotlavalluru, Ampapuram, Gannavaram, G Kondur, Nuzvid, Musunuru, Kankipadu, Gudivada, Chatrai, Agiripalli, Mylavaram and other villages. Even the use of rooster knives continued unabated.
The situation in some villages was brought under control with the intervention of higher officials. According to the police, 100 persons were taken into custody and more than 50 cases were filed against organisers of cockfight in the district.“As far as the tradition is concerned, villagers and organisers can organise cockfights sans blades. However, gambling is prohibited,” said a senior police official.
Several political leaders reportedly attended cockfights in Krishna, Guntur and the twin Godavari districts that marked the Sankranti celebrations. Tents and food stalls were also arranged at several places. Thousands of people also took part in gambling on the occasion.
The situation was similar in both the East and West Godavari districts, where cockfights were held on a grand note at Tadepalligudem, Chotimella, Gudivakalanka, Akiveedu, Undi, Bhimavaram, Palkollu, Mandapet, Narasapuram, Lingapalem, Chintalapudi, Kamavarapukota, Eluru and Pedavegi mandals.
Many lodges and convention halls in Eluru, Bhimavaram, Rajahmundry, Kakinada and other towns in both the districts were fully booked as punters and enthusiasts from various places arrived to the districts to participate in the celebrations.
According to sources, gambling activities were conducted in Bhimavaram, Eluru, Denduluru, Undi, Yalamanchili, Narsapuram, Aakivudu, Jangareddy Gudem, Chintalapudi and Tadepalligudem. In Guntur district, Sankranti celebrations were held in Sattenapalli.