Twenty people have been arrested for their alleged involvement in betting on cock-fights at a village in Odisha's Ganjam district,
A special police team that raided the village arrested 20 people for betting over cock-fights involving roosters in a violent fight for entertainment in a village named Alipur in Odisha's Ganjam district which is situated 4Km away from Aska
Around 160 people had gathered in the ground to participate and witness the scene.
The police team also seized 26 roosters, some with injuries, knives, 22 motor-cycles, two four-wheelers and Rs 9000 cash from Alipur village in Aska area yesterday. The arrests followed a tussle between those involved in betting and police personnel, said sub divisional police officer, Sarah Sharma.
A constable was injured when the gathering started attacking the police party, Sharma said. "We managed to nab 20 of persons, while others fled from the ground," Sharma added.
The cock-fight was held in the village on the festive occasion of Makar Sankranti, a mid-winter Hindu festival ceeleberated across India and Nepal. The festival, marks the transition of the sun from Sagittarius to Capricorn during the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. The day is also celeberated as pongal or the harvest festival in South India.
Several people of the village and its adjoining villagers came to place their bet on the occassion, Sharma informed mediapersons during a briefing in the district headquarters.
The fights between the specially-bred and trained cocks were held in the field with several hundreds watching the scene, she said. Knives were tied to the cocks' legs and the do-or-die fight was continuing till the death of a bird.
"It's nothing but a high-stake gambling and cruelty to the animal. We have booked them on charges of practising of gambling and meted cruelty to the birds," the SDPO said. Police also registered cases on charges of attack on the police personnel, she added.
The sport prevails, even though it is illegal under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. But animal rights activists point to the lack of enforcement of the law.(Sources-OneWorld South Asia)
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