VIDEO: Two men, K. Padmaraju and Gande Suryapraksha Rao, were killed by knife-wielding roosters in separate freak cockfighting mishaps during the Hindu Makar Sankrati festival, in the East Godavari district, India KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Thursday, January 19, 2023

VIDEO: Two men, K. Padmaraju and Gande Suryapraksha Rao, were killed by knife-wielding roosters in separate freak cockfighting mishaps during the Hindu Makar Sankrati festival, in the East Godavari district, India

Two men were killed by knife-wielding roosters in separate freak cockfighting mishaps in India this week, according to news reports.

In the second mishap, a cockfighting spectator in the East Godavari district, identified by the Express as K. Padmaraju, was slashed in the hand and bled out.

But it remains popular in certain circles and in underground gambling dens.

Both men — an unlucky spectator and the owner of one of the fighting cocks — bled to death after they were slashed by the feathered combatants, who had sharp knives strapped to their legs by their handlers, New India Express reported.

Both incidents occurred Sunday during celebrations for the Hindu Makar Sankrati festival, according to the outlet.

In the first incident, Gande Suryapraksha Rao, 43, had tied the blades to his fighting rooster prior to a fight with another bird — and was fatally slashed when the cock got spooked by the crowd, flew into the air and landed on him.

He was immediately rushed to hospital but was declared dead on arrival, reports The New Indian Express.

Just days later, a spectator at another event in East Godavari also died at the hands of a rooster with a knife.

The others involved in the event could face charges of manslaughter, illegal betting and hosting a cockfight.

Jeevan told AFP it was a "freak accident".

He added: "We are searching for the other 15 people involved in organising the illegal fight."

Cockfighting has been banned in India since 1960, but the gruesome fights are still common in rural areas such as Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Odisha states.

Many occur around the Hindu festival of Sankranti. Thousands of roosters die each year during the fights.

Last year, a man died when his rooster's blade hit him in the neck as he carried the bird to a fight in the south-eastern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Cockfighting is banned in the UK.

In 2017, officers shut down a cockfighting ring at a home in Ilford, east London, where they discovered a blood-splattered pit where cockerels battled to their death.

Five men and a 16-year-old boy were disqualified from keeping birds for life after being convicted of being present at an animal fight following a trial.

Ten cockerels and two hens were seized and placed into RSPCA care.

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