Cockfight bets may touch Rs 300 cr in AP

Cockfight bets may touch Rs 300 cr in AP

Despite a high court ban on cockfights and warnings by the state police, bets worth crores of rupees were placed in the costal districts of Andhra Pradesh.

The traditional Sankranthi time cockfights which began in both the Godavari districts, Krishna and parts of Guntur on Friday, were expected to generate a turnover of Rs 300 crore by Monday despite a cash crunch post demonetisation. This time the punters found alternative modes of cash transfer.

Plastic money and Aadhaar-based apps saved the day, with the organisers providing free Wi-Fi facility at the huge arenas. In some places like Rajahmundry, Vijayawada and Bhimavaram, the organisers even deployed drones to alert them on the movement of police parties. The organisers, who had initially agreed to abide by the police direction against tying blades to the legs of the fighting cocks and indulging in betting, found full support to break the law from their political bosses across all political parties. So far the police have arrested only 20 people for betting and one businessman from Telangana for firing in the air with a licensed arm.

The rich and famous from Telangana, in their swanky SUVs, descended on the coastal towns of Kakinada, Palakollu, Kovvur, Rajahmundry and Amalapuram to take part in betting. On Friday, the turnover crossed Rs 100 crore, according to the estimates of experienced punters.

The Hyderabad High Court, responding to a batch of petitions filed by several animal rights organisations, in its order had directed district collectors to ensure that no cock fights take place.

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