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Orissa snake charmers issue 'venomous' threat

November 24, 2004 17:01 IST

Snake charmers in Orissa, angered by the restrictions imposed on them on catching serpents and displaying them in public, have sounded a venomous threat.

They have threatened to let loose hundreds of snakes in the state capital and, if they have their way, also inside the state assembly, if the 'harassment' does not stop.

"Our livelihood depends on catching snakes and displaying them in public, but if it is stopped, what will we do?" Chittaranjan Das, a snake charmer, asked at a news conference in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.

"If our problems are not addressed we'll have no option but to release hundreds of snakes in the state capital and also inside the state assembly," Das said.

Wildlife personnel and the police have been cracking down on snake charmers in Orissa, confiscating snakes from their possession. "This has made it difficult for us to eke out a living," Das said.

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