The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Man bites, snake dies

Durgapur, March 30: A drunken man picked up a dying cobra, twirled it around his head for some time and bit it in two.

The snake died even as Subhas Banerjee proclaimed that he wanted to teach it how it felt to be bitten. He then started foaming at the mouth and fell unconscious.

But Subhas is fine two days after his antics at Jamuria near Asansol, about 230km from Calcutta.

A cook at the Jamuria police station canteen, Subhas, 26, saw a commotion as he walked home to Ikra village after work on Friday night. By the time he had entered the scene, a mob had smashed the five-foot snake’s spine.

Pushing through the crowd of onlookers, Subhas picked the snake up by its tail.

Panic-stricken villagers begged him to get rid of it, but he was a man possessed. Subhas held the snake with both hands and started biting it. The snake’s body severed from the middle and it died.

Subhas shouted: “Snakes bite us, look I’m biting a snake.” Then he dropped unconscious.

“We thought he was dead but he suddenly started screaming. We called his father Sudeb (also a canteen cook), but he was so drunk, he could hardly walk,” said Ranjit Ghosh, a villager.

Doctors at the Asansol Subdivisional Hospital said Subhas became unconscious from “shock and excitement”.

“Subhas and his father are known village drunks,” said the officer in charge of Jamuria police station.

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