Eluru (Andhra Pradesh), Jan 7 : Andhra Pradesh’s West Godavari district administration has asked the Income Tax Department to conduct raids during the forthcoming Sankranti festival, which is renowned for cockfights and indiscriminate gambling, involving hundreds of crores of rupees.
“The District Collector wrote to the IT Department to thwart transactions involving black money during Sankranti time as large scale gambling occurs,” a distict official told IANS on Thursday night.
He said the move is aimed at discouraging people from indulging in gambling, and was the brainchild of Superintendent of Police Narayan Naik.
Naik discussed the matter with Collector Revu Muthyala Raju, prompting the latter to write to the IT Department as West Godavari is famous for cockfights during Sankanti.
According to the official, IT teams are expected to raid hotels and lodges, where people from across the country and even overseas, descend on the district to revel and gamble in the Sankranti extravaganza.
He said officials are also contemplating sealing the district borders during the festival days to restrict betting enthusiasts from bringing cocks and liquor from far off places, especially knives made in neighbouring East Godavari district.
Two stainless steel razor sharp knives are tied to a cock’s feet facing inwards, and meant to throw fatal kicks on the opposing cock, which generally bleeds to death and is later relished by the punters.
“The IT department is being involved to bring in a multi-pronged approach to crackdown on cockfights,” the official added.
Bhimavaram, Juvvalapalem, Aibhimavaram, Kallakuru, Seesali and several other villages in West and East Godavari districts are wildly popular for these illegal competitions, which attract personalities from the Telugu film industry as well.
Makeshift tents, galleries, food and several other facilities are arranged by influential people in West Godavari during Sankranti.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.