If you’re a tax official in India, you might want to think twice about upsetting farmers who just might be snake charmers. Two farmers, one of them handy with the slithery beasts, dumped around 40 snakes in a busy tax office in northern India to protest alleged bribery demands.
At least four of those snakes were deadly cobras, causing employees to scramble to avoid getting bitten, says The Guardian.
“Snakes started climbing up the tables and chairs,” a local official told the paper. “There was total chaos. Hundreds of people gathered outside the room, some of them with sticks in their hands, shouting that the snakes should be killed.” No one was injured.
The men had reportedly been trying to get tax records for their farms, but were met with demands for bribes.
One farmer told the media: “I had to dump snakes because the district magistrate and the sub divisional magistrate told me: ‘We have approved your application but lower level officials are sitting on it.’ They’re demanding bribes but I’m unable to meet their demands. Where will I keep these poisonous snakes? I don’t have space.”
Forestry officials eventually caught all the snakes, and police are seeking the farmers who dumped the snakes. One is known locally as a snake charmer.
*Thanks to Consumerist reader Joe for the tip!
India corruption protesters dump snakes in busy tax office [The Guardian]