A ticked-off snake charmer dumped a bagful of snakes, including four deadly cobras, in the office of bureaucrats he said dragged their feet on a permit he wanted.
The stunt at a land registry office in the town of Harraiya, in Uttar Pradesh, left terrified workers scrambling for safety, according to The Australian. In addition to the quartet of hooded serpents, there were three dozen more vipers let loose on the office.
"Snakes started climbing up the tables and chairs. Hundreds of people gathered outside the room, some of them with sticks in their hands, shouting that the snakes should be killed," Ramsukh Sharma, an official, told the paper.
The snakes were finally captured by cops and animal control officials but snake charmer Hukkul Khan, who lives in the nearby village of Lara, was still at large.
Khan was angry with officials in the office because he believed they blocked a plan to grant him a plot of land for the snakes he had caught. He claims he was hit up for bribes to get the request approved, according to the International Business Times.
No one was reported to have been bitten.
"There was total chaos for several hours. Some people started taking photos with their telephone cameras, others brought out sheets to try to cover the snakes. Some came with sticks and wanted to beat up Hakkul," local journalist Mazhar Azad told the BBC.