Two farmers who say they were frustrated with corruption dumped bags of snakes in a tax office this week in northern India. There were dozens of snakes including at least four deadly cobras, according to the British newspaper the Guardian.
The farmers had requested tax records from the office in Basti for their land in Narharpur village. But they say officials withheld files for weeks while demanding bribes.
Fed up with the bribery demands, the two farmers emptied three bags in the tax office on Tuesday, but no one was bitten or injured.
“Snakes started climbing up the tables and chairs,” local official Ramsukh Sharma told the Guardian. “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.”
According to the Guardian, police and forest officials captured the snakes. Police are searching for the two farmers, one of whom is known locally as a snake charmer.
Petty officials and police receive small bribes daily across India, according to the Guardian. Anti-corruption campaigns have grown in the past year.
Though the two farmers wanted to send an immediate, offline message to officials, one growing trend to stop corruption is to publicly shame local officials who demand bribes by naming them in online videos on sites like YouTube.