Cockfights permitted

  • SC orders status quo
  • HC asked to hear Animal Welfare Board too
  • Joyous scenes  in Godavari districts

(Sanjaya)

Hyderabad, January 12: The stay order issued by the Supreme Court on the ban on cockfights has been received amidst joyous scenes in West Godavari, East Godavari and Krishna districts of Andhra Pradesh. The apex court on Monday ordered that the status quo has to be continued for now allowing the people to organize and participate in cockfights during the three days of Sankranti festival. The cockfights are organized between Jan 10 and 15 every year.

In fact, cockfights have been going on as a popular entertainment for more than a century involving betting, liquor consumption and a lot of politics. Prominent politicians of all the mainstream parties are involved in this game which has been denounced as inhuman by animal lovers. It is a multi-crore business in the Godavari districts in particular. There have been historic and mythological stories weaved around cockfights which determined the superiority of one group over the other.

The apex court bench consisting of Chief Justice HL Dattu and Justice AK Sikri asked the High Court to hear all the sides including the Animal Welfare Board before arriving at a conclusion. The appeal in the SC was filed by BJP leader Raghuram Krishnam Raju and two others challenging the HC order issued on December 29, 2014. The HC after hearing a PIL ordered the Collector and Superintendent of Police of West Godavari district not to allow cockfights anymore. The PIL in the HC was based on a government order issued earlier based banning cockfights.

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