In protest of local government corruption in Uttar Pradesh, India, a snake charmer released 40 poisonous snakes inside a tax office.
Hukkul Khan walked into the office with a sack of serpents of varying species, which he then dumped on the floor, sending the staff jumping onto chairs as the snakes slithered around the floor of the building, according to The Turkey News' description of the scene.
Khan reduced the tax office to utter chaos as some employees scrambled to the top of their desks or wielded long pieces of cloth to fend off this reptilian bombardment, All Media NY reported on Monday, adding that at least four of the snakes were spitting cobras.
The snake charmer has been imploring local government officials in the town of Basti for tax records on his land, for which he had applied for a snake-keeping permit. However, local authorities had refused to grant him either request unless he paid them bribes.
I had to dump the snakes because DM (district magistrate) and SDM (sub divisional magistrate) told us that 'we have approved your application but lower-level officials are sitting on it,' Khan stated.
They are demanding bribes time and again but I am unable to meet their demand. Where will I keep these poisonous snakes? I don't have space.
Corruption in India is a serious national problem. Despite a new anti-corruption bill, the country has gotten worse over the past year, according to Transparency International's annual index. India scored the second worse of all the developing BRIC economies, just behind Russia. India was 95th place (of 183) on the list, a whole 20 places worse than China and just one spot better than Pakistan.
Snake charming, a traditional vocation, has been banned as an official occupation since 2004 due to alleged violations of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, forcing many snake charmers underground.
No one was injured in the snake attack, and a team from the forestry department dealt with the slithering animals.