In perhaps a new take on the Occupy protests, an irate snake charmer dumped three sacks full of poisonous reptiles on the floor of a Government Land Registry Office in northern India, the Guardian reports.
The man, reportedly named Hakkul, was angry that local officials in the state of Uttar Pradesh had failed to act on an application for land and also accused bureaucrats of demanding bribes. The slithery move Tuesday certainly had an impact. Video of the incident shows office workers climbing on desks and chairs as hissing cobras, four of which were among the 40 snakes released, reared up from the ground.
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The Telegraph reports that Hakkul later said a district magistrate had agreed for him to have a plot of land for his snakes two years ago. “I am a conservationist and have been seeking the government’s help. Having waited patiently for so long, I had no option but to leave all my snakes in this office,” he said.
But officials pushed back on the silver-bearded charmer’s claims. “He had applied for a plot of land to keep his snakes,” Subhash Mani Tripathi, the head of land-revenue administration, told the AFP. “But there is no provision for such a business. Instead of seeking a written reply, which we would have issued, Hakkul created panic by letting loose a bunch of snakes all over the office.”
Nobody was reported bitten by the snakes, which were later captured by forestry-department officials. It’s unclear if they were returned to Hakkul.