‘They does come drink, gamble and enjoy the fight’

-murders shine light on cockfighting at Friendship

At least three times a month, cockfighting events are held at Friendship, East Bank Demerara, according to a resident.

The illegal sport came into focus recently after two men were murdered after leaving an illegal cockfighting competition at Friendship on New Year’s Day.

A resident, who lives near to the open space where the events are hosted, told Stabroek News that he was familiar with the activity although he stays far away because fights sometimes break out.

The man said cockfighting would take place on Sundays after lunch and sometimes goes late into the night “because the fights are long, you know.”

He told Stabroek News that the fights are staged in an open lot through an alleyway and have been taking place there for more than four months. “If you see big vehicles that does be here, they does come drink, gamble and enjoy the fight,” he said.

He noted that the bets placed on the fights are huge and sometimes run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

During cockfights, trained roosters are placed in a ring and forced to fight to the death in vicious bouts. The rings are sometimes created from wires, discarded pieces of wood and even the onlookers, who form a circle around the fighting area.

Although the sport is illegal, there is not much being done by the lawmen to put an end to it. In most cases, only residents and followers of the fights would know where the event is happening.

And while residents may have concerns over the cruelty meted out to the animals, it is highly uncommon that they would report it the police.

The motive behind the murders of Desmond Singh, called “David” and “Fix Up”, 34, a poultry vendor of Lot A-1 Orange Walk, Bourda and Azrudeen Hussain, 24, a cattle farmer and university student, who resided at Biabu, Mahaica Creek, has yet to be determined although police suspect that they were the victim of a hit. Singh, who was shot about 15 times, is believed to have been the target.

Two persons were arrested for questioning but were released on station bail.

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