Andhra Pradesh cops’ ability to control cockfights still doubtful

Cockfight2_0_0Hyderabad: A big question mark looms over how successful the AP police will be in controlling cockfights during Sankranti in the backdrop of organisers being firm on going ahead despite HC and Supreme Court rulings.
The AP police has assured the High Court that they will make stringent efforts to check cockfights with betting, sale of illicit liquor, gambling and subjecting animals and birds to cruelty during Sankranti.
Last year Eluru resident Narahari Jagdish Kumar moved the HC seeking a direction to the police to implement the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960 and AP Gaming Act against organisers of cockfights.
The court disposed of the petition following an undertaking from the district SP that he had instructed the force to take action.
Later, BJP leader K. Raghu Rama Krishna Raju preferred an appeal in the SC against the HC order contending that cockfighting is a traditional game and it is part of local culture. While sending the case back to the HC on January 12, 2015, it directed the authorities to maintain status quo. Organisers carried on with the game last year, claiming that by the time the SC ordered the status quo cockfights had already begun and so they could go on.
Following this interpretation, the police in many places remained mute spectators and betting on cockfights touched `200 crore according to unofficial estimates.
In the recent round of litigation, the High Court did not pass any fresh order while recording the assurance of the police that steps would be taken to prohibit the blood sport.
High Court advocate N. Sreedhar Reddy said the Supreme Court had ordered the Animal Welfare Board of India and state governments to protect the “five freedoms” of animals — from hunger and thirst; from discomfort; from pain, injury and disease; from fear and distress and to express normal behaviour.

Source from Deccan Chronicle

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