The gambling sport of rooster fighting is ruling during the Makar Sankranti season in Andhra Pradesh despite warnings by police about blood sports and gambling, and appeals from the animal rights activists to show concern for birds.With an active participation of politicians, at least Rs 2,000 crore is believed to be changing hands in the gambling, laying a bet on one or other rooster for victory.While the stakes were small in the traditional rooster fight in the villages, the sport has taken a bloody turn in recent years with blades tied to the roosters’ legs and rural audiences watching the birds go at one another until one gives up and bleeds to death.To add to the excitement in the rooster fight arenas, betting on card games and liquor is made available for special guests in select stands.While it is unlawful, police is forced to turn a blind eye unless the law and order situation is violated following quarrels about settling bets. The organisers, who enjoy the backing of the local MLAs, make special arrangements for their clients and the people, who turn up in large numbers to enjoy the fights.Significantly, at some of the venues this year, roosters were smuggled into the state from Thailand and Australia. These roosters are strong and light. The roosters, depending on their species, sizes and strength, command prices anywhere between Rs 40,000 and Rs 1,50,000.On papers, the Andhra Pradesh High Court banned cockfights in 2016. The Supreme Court upheld its decision but the sport continues unchecked.advertisementAlso Read | Andhra Pradesh’s Jallikattu: Cockfights continue to be popular despite High Court banAlso Read | Cockfighting continues in state despite Hyderabad High Court ban
THE SOUTH SIOUX CITY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IS HOSTING A CANDIDATES FORUM TONIGHT FOR THE CITY’S SCHOOL BOARD, DAKOTA COUNTY COMMISSION AND THE DISTRICT 17 STATE SENATE SEAT.THE CANDIDATES WILL DISCUSS THE ISSUES AND VISIT WITH MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC AT THE FORUM.THE EVENT TAKES PLACE AT THE SOUTH SIOUX CITY MIDDLE SCHOOL AUDITORIUM AT THE ‘G” STREET ENTRANCE BEGINNING AT 6:30PM.