Never take for granted the wrath of an angry snake charmer with snakes. A frustrated snake charmer who after repeatedly requested for allotment of a small plot of land vent out his anger by releasing the venomous reptiles into the office resulting in the officials scrambling to their tables for their lives.
Image above: The snakes were let loose. Looking on are the officials.
An angry snake charmer had let out snakes inside the government office in Haraiya town, Basti district in Uttar Pradesh India. Hakkul, a snake charmer had earlier made an application for allotment for a plot of land on the outskirt of the town to run a serpentarium. Despite repeated requests from Hakkul, there were no response from the officials prompting the anger of the charmer and the release of the snakes.
Image above: The snake versus the officials on the table (far right)
Mr Hakkul went to the Tehsil [revenue] office with a group of supporters and emptied out his bags containing venomous snakes. Snakes were climbing up the tables and chairs. The office was filled with approximately 100 officials and clerks and many more visitors. There was total chaos for several hours. Some people started taking photos with their telephone cameras, probably taking selfies or the dire need to update their facebook status with the snakes for attention. Others brought out sheets to try to cover the snakes. Some came with sticks and wanted to whack Hakkul. Hakkul and his men immediately exited amidst the panicky situation and escaped being caught in the scene leaving the officials at the mercy of the snakes.
Video above: The footage of the snakes in the office and Hakkul's version in this video.
What the officials say
“In the absence of any provision for allotment of land for such a business, we could not give any reply to him. Instead of seeking a written reply, which we would have issued, Hakkul created panic in our offices by letting loose a bunch of snakes all over the office," says Subhash Mani Tripathi, the local Tehsildar (head of the local land revenue administration). He further added,” "Employees as well as the public went running for their lives."
The snake charmer’s version
"I am a conservationist of snakes and have been seeking the government's help to provide me a place where I could create a serpentariam for them. I wrote to the President of India from whom I got a letter of recommendation for the district magistrate who promised to allot a small plot of government land free of cost for the purpose." Hakkul added, "However, two years have passed since then and the local administration has simply been dilly-dallying on the issue because I refused to bribe them; after having waited patiently for so long, I had no option but to leave all my snakes in that very office."
State laws do have a provision for free allotment of government for the poor to earn their livelihood. The Police confirmed nearly 3 dozen snakes have been captured and local snake charmers help had been sought to help capture any more snakes hiding in or outside the vicinity of the land revenue office. No one was reported bitten.
What a way to deal with frustration and corruption. Perhaps, Hakkul should take up a course in stress management. Or maybe the officials should be given a refresher course on moral, ethics and code of conduct.