Indore: The traditional cock fighting seems to have turned into a source of betting in tribal districts of Indore division.
Recently, Ratlam police arrested seven persons and seized two cocks, Rs 3.72 lakh cash, six mobile phones and a van.
The station road TI Anil Tiwari said, "This is first time such a huge amount was seized in the betting on cock fight". It might emerge as a trend if not check, he added.
Though there is nothing attractive about the blood sport in which cocks get wounded and killed, organisers in the last couple of weeks are indulging in the game for betting.
A majority of the punters, who belong to the Bhil community, say cock fighting is a custom that should not be viewed as gambling. "This is a traditional sport. We are only following the sport, not indulging in betting," said Tadoniya Bhil.
However, some locals feel there are many things wrong with this. " The thing I hate most is that whatever money these men win from the fights, they spend on alcohol. They don't buy food for their families. They just drink it all," says Sarita.
The roosters, which had until then been reared and looked after by women, are taken to participate in the festival against their wishes. A rooster, which would fetch at least Rs 250 in the local market, is gambled away sometimes at the price of Rs 10.
Socio psychologist Dr Vinod Arora said, "Cockfighting is considered a blood sport by animal welfare and animal rights activists and others due partly to the physical trauma the cocks inflict on each other. Wagers are often made on the outcome of the match. In many other areas around the world, cockfighting is still practiced as a mainstream event. In some countries it is regulated by law, or forbidden outright".