Betting on illegal rooster fights rampant in remote hamlets

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
29 Dec 2017

Despite being declared illegal by the Indian judiciary and stiff opposition by animal rights activists, reports of rooster fights being organized in remote villages of these islands have come to light. As per reports, the bloody sport is organized in remote villages such as Attom Pahad, Shyamkund in Bakultala, Middle Andaman, etc every Sundays in private farms where cocks are pitted against each other and the betting runs into thousands of rupees besides the sports getting associated with selling illicit liquor, gambling and subjecting birds to cruelty.
“Despite ban, the sport is being organised in villages like Shyamkund near Bakultala in Middle Andaman in full swing every Sundays. Villagers from different parts in the region assemble at the farms to witness the roosters fight and thousands of rupees are put as stakes. Gambling, boozing during the activity continues simultaneously, but the law enforcing agencies have failed to stop the sport in which the cocks are then forced to fight until one dies or is so critically injured and is unable to stand up. The local administration should take a strong note of such reports and take appropriate action to stop such illegal activities,” said a Bakultala villager. 
Speaking to EOI, an officer of Police Station, Rangat informed that they have also received some complaints about illegal rooster fights being organised at Bakultala. “The Police conducted a covert inspection in the area where the illegal sport is being allegedly organised, but found no one. Probably the organisers got advance information about the police raid and called off the sport that day. The Police are, however, keeping a close vigil in the areas and anyone found involved in the sport will be booked under appropriate sections of the law,” said the cop.
Cockfight is a blood sport between two cocks held in a ring. The combatants, referred to as gamecocks, are specially bred and conditioned for increased stamina and strength. For increased entertainment value, a sharp knife is attached to the claw of the game cock. Specialists are hired to tie two to four inch blade to the bird's limb. The cocks are then forced to fight until one dies or is so critically injured and is unable to stand up. Besides subjecting birds to horrific injuries, the sport also promotes betting racket, business of illicit liquor etc. Due to such cruel and illegal conduct of cockfights, the traditional sport has been banned by the Indian judiciary.