Tribune News Service
Hyderabad, January 8
West Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh is taking the services of the Income Tax Department to prevent betting over cockfights and indiscriminate gambling during the forthcoming Sakranti festival that runs into hundreds of crores of rupees. The I-T Department has been requested by the district collector to conduct raids to prevent this.
The decision was taken after a meeting of district officials with the local district police that led the Collector Revu Muthyala Raju to the IT department. A request has gone for raids on hotels and lodges, where people from across the country and even overseas arrive to participate in the Sankranti gambling.
Officials said that villages such as Bhimavaram, Juvvalapalem, Aibhimavaram, Kallakuru, and Seesali in both west and east Godavari districts are wildly popular for these illegal competitions. The event also sometimes attracts Telugu film personalities.
During this time as a run-up to January 14, the date for Sakranti this year, makeshift tents, galleries, food, and several other facilities are arranged by influential people who visit.