Man lets loose snakes in UP office

Venomous protest

Man lets loose snakes in UP office

To register his protest against the failure of the revenue officials to allot him a piece of land on lease for “keeping snakes,” a snake charmer let out scores of venomous snakes inside a “tehsil” (town area) office in Uttar Pradesh’s Basti district, about 200 km from here.

A near stampede-like situation prevailed in the office at Haraiya town in the district on Tuesday afternoon by the sudden appearance of scores of snakes, including cobras, as the officials and common people, who were there in connection with their work, fled in panic.

Security personnel from several police stations were rushed to the “tehsil” along with forest officials, who managed to catch as many as 40 snakes from different parts of the building. “There could still be more snakes in the building...we are looking for them,” said the officials.

According to the revenue officials, the snake charmer, identified as Hakkul and a resident of Bairagal village in the district, had been demanding a small piece of land on lease from the officials for “keeping his snakes.” 

“He had earlier met senior officials but they all turned him away saying that there was no provision to allot land for keeping snakes,” sources said.

Hakkul, who is said to be a Bhartiya Kisan Union activist, had a few months back resorted to the same tactic when he had released hundreds of snakes on the national highway connecting Lucknow and Gorakhpur to protest against the alleged failure of the officials to resolve some local problems.The police are looking for Hakkul. “He will be punished in accordance with law,” said the police.

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