VIJAYAWADA: Over 5,000 cases have been registered against the organisers and punters across the State for organising cockfights and gambling in violation of High Court ban, according to sources in the police department.The police remained mute spectators as the organisers enjoyed the clandestine support of ruling party leaders. MLAs and leaders from all political parties inaugurated the cockfights in twin Godavari and Krishna districts.
According to sources, `2,000 crore reportedly changed hands during the three-day Sankranti festivities in these three districts. Of the `2,000 crore, bets worth `500 crore were placed on cockfights and gambling in Krishna district alone. Over 100 cockfight arenas were set up in Krishna district, including Vijayawada police commissionerate limits. Besides cockfights, organisers also conducted dice game and cards.
They also arranged liquor and biryani for participants. Cockfights were organised at Nuzvid, Gudavalli, G Kondur, Ibrahimpatnam, Kanchikacherla, Kankipadu, Edupugallu and other rural areas in the district.According to Krishna district police, 567 cases of gambling and 348 cases of cockfights were registered. The cops also took 2,022 people into custody and seized 428 roosters and 2,427 knives from the organisers.
“Strict vigil was kept in all identified villages to curb illegal activities. Permission was given only for organising cultural events. A total of 2,022 people were taken into custody for organising cockfights and gambling. We have taken strict action against the gamblers and cases were filed against them under relevant sections of AP Gaming Act, 1974. As part of preventive measures, we have filed bind over cases against habitual offenders,” Krishna district SP M Ravindranath Babu said.
Same is the situation in twin Godavari districts as the police looked away as the ruling party leaders inaugurated the cockfights. Punters had a field day as an estimated `350 crore changed hands in East Godavari district alone.