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Rooster Kills Owner with Blade During Cockfight in Telangana. But is the Sport Legal in India?

Representative photo

Representative photo

The victim died from loss of blood after the freak accident left him injured in the groin.

A rooster fitted with a knife for an illegal cockfight has killed its owner in Telangana, sparking a manhunt for the organisers of the event, police said Saturday.

The victim died from loss of blood before he could reach a hospital in the Karimnagar district of Telangana earlier this week, local police officer B Jeevan told AFP.

What happened at the cockfight?

The bird had a knife attached to its leg ready to take on an opponent when it inflicted serious injuries to the man’s groin as it tried to escape, officers said.

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The man was among 16 people organising the cockfight in Lothunur when the freak accident took place, Jeevan said.

The rooster was briefly held at the local police station before it was sent to a poultry farm.

Specially-bred roosters have 7.5-centimetre (three-inch) knives or blades tethered to their legs and punters bet on who will win the gruesome fight. Thousands of roosters die each year in the battles which, despite the efforts of animal rights groups, attract large crowds.

Are cockfights legal in India?

No, cockfights have been illegal in India for years. According to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960, the activity is illegal in India.

In 2015, the Supreme Court had imposed an interim ban on cockfighting in India and said that it amounts to animal cruelty. In 2018, the apex court upheld the ban but allowed the sport to be carried out in a traditional way without the use of instruments and weapons like blades or knives.

Where is cockfighting popular in India?

Cockfighting is mainly prevalent in Andhra Pradesh. Despite the ban and outrage from animal rights activists, the sport prevails in the state. According to a report by The News Minute, rooster cockfights continue in Andhra Pradesh with the support of local cops and politicians.

These fights usually take place in open grounds and during the three-day Sankranti festival in January.

In this sport, blades are attached to the rooster’s legs. It often results in the birds’ deaths. If the opponent wins, they get the betting amount as well as the rooster.

(With inputs from PTI)