Man is killed by rooster amid illegal cockfight in India

Police investigate after man is slashed in the groin by bird with a blade tied to its leg

A man was fatally injured by a rooster with a blade tied to its leg during an illegal cockfight in southern India, local police have said. File photograph: Jes Aznar/Getty Images

A man was fatally injured by a rooster with a blade tied to its leg during an illegal cockfight in southern India, local police have said. File photograph: Jes Aznar/Getty Images

 

A man was fatally injured by a rooster with a blade tied to its leg during an illegal cockfight in southern India, local police have said.

The incident has brought focus on the practice of cockfighting, which continues in some Indian states despite a decades-old ban.

The rooster, with a 3-inch knife tied to its leg, had fluttered in panic and slashed its owner, 45-year-old Thangulla Satish, in his groin last week, police inspector B Jeevan said.

The fatal incident occurred in Lothunur village in Telangana state.

According to Jeevan, Mr Satish was injured while he prepared the rooster for a fight.

“Satish was hit by the rooster’s knife in his groin and started bleeding heavily,” the officer said, adding that Mr Satish then died on the way to hospital.

The inspector said police had filed a case and were looking for more than a dozen people involved in organising the cockfight.

If proven guilty, the organisers can be jailed for up to two years.

Cockfights are common in the southern Indian states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka despite a countrywide ban on the practice imposed in 1960.

Animal rights activists have long been calling for the control of the illegal practice, which is mainly organised as part of local festivals usually attended by hundreds of people, though the crowds sometimes swell to thousands.

The cockfights often involve large sums of betting money.

Previous incidents

Last year, a man was killed when a blade attached to his bird’s leg hit him in the neck during a cockfight in Andhra Pradesh.

In 2010, a rooster similarly killed its owner by slashing his jugular vein in West Bengal state.

According to police, the rooster involved in last week’s incident was among many other roosters prepared for a cockfight betting festival in Lothunur village.

As the practice goes, a knife, blade or other sharp-edged weapon is tied to the leg of a bird to harm its rival in a fight.

Such fights continue until one contestant is either dead or flees, with the other rooster declared the winner.

Officer Jeevan said the rooster was brought to the police station before being taken to a local poultry farm.

“We may need to produce it before the court,” he said.

Images of the rooster tied with a rope and pecking on grains at the police station were widely viewed on social media. –AP