Cockfights have always been a part of Sankranthi celebrations in the Telugu states just like Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu. The traditional game also attracts lakhs of betting especially during the festival days. Notably, the Hyderabad High Court has banned Cockfights in the past after hearing petitions which argued that animals cannot be subjected to cruelty in the name of traditional games. But, the implementation of the High Court orders always remained only on paper.
On January 4, 2018, the High Court bench headed by acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice M Ganga Rao made it clear that the Court will make the Chief Secretary and the DGP of Andhra Pradesh personally responsible if the Police fail to curb Cockfights this time. However, with the ground reality remaining the same despite several orders, the High Court vent out its anger against the DGP and Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh ordering for their personal appearance on January 29.
"We ourselves watched how the Cockfights went ahead in several villages of Andhra Pradesh. And to our dismay, even legislators made their presence to watch these games. How can the government fail to implement our orders to this extent?", the High Court bench questioned. The bench has further directed the lawyer representing the AP government to file an affidavit detailing the steps taken to curb Cockfights during Sankranthi festival.
The bench made the above comments while hearing on a Public Interest Litigation filed by Ramachandra Raju of West Godavari district, who approached the court to prevent Cockfights in Srirampuram Village of Bhimavaram Mandal. The court will continue hearing arguments on January 29.