Elaborate arrangements have been made for facilitating wide participation in the annual spectacle. The Hyderabad High Court had banned rooster fights. But enthusiasts of this traditional sport approached the Supreme Court which allowed it and also issued guidelines that there should be no gambling and no cruelty towards animals.
The police had formed special teams to ensure court orders were strictly followed but with local politicians ensuring no disruption to the game, it has become a huge challenge for the police. In fact, they are often active participants in deploying fighter birds for duels and indulge in gambling.
Cockfights are popular in Andhra Pradesh during the Sankranti festival. Betting worth crores of rupees takes place during the traditional sport. The birds cost anywhere between Rs 10,000 to a lakh and sometimes more. They are put on special diets and trained as a matter of prestige and also because a lot of money rides on them.