The High Court of Hyderabad today directed Andhra Pradesh government to ensure that no cockfight takes place during upcoming ‘Pongal’ festival.
Taking on record the undertaking filed by the state government, a division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Dilip Bhosale and Justice S V Bhatt directed the authorities to ensure that no cockfights take place during Pongal or Makar Sankranti festival.
In the affidavit filed by the Superintendent of Police, West Godavari, the government stated that it had already banned cockfights and that every effort would be made to prevent its conduct this season and that violators will be dealt with sternly.
The government has listed a series of measures it has undertaken and is planning to implement to prevent the practice.
The steps included identifying organisers of cockfight and gambling, conducting meetings in villages and enlighten the public towards consequences of the social evil, making them aware of the Cruelty to Animals Act, binding over all offenders of cockfight and gambling, giving wide publicity against cockfight and gambling in print and electronic media.
The PILs seeking a ban on cockfight were filed by Human Society International India, an NGO, stating that the ‘evil practice’ is resulting in deaths of several birds and that many people belonging to the middle class and the down-trodden sections are investing huge amount of their hard-earned money and eventually losing it on gambling related to cockfight.