The Telegraph
Friday , September 30 , 2011
Since 1st March, 1999
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Man who bit cobra survives

Alipurduar, Sept. 29: A tea garden worker, who had bitten a king cobra into pieces after the snake dug its fangs on his hands, was discharged from the hospital today.

Ratan Singh, a resident of Cooch Behar Tea Estate in Falakata, received a grand welcome when he returned home after his release from the Jalpaiguri district hospital.

While some of his fellow workers called him God, children and women touched his feet to take blessings. Ratan, however, is grateful to all those who had taken him to hospital. “When my turn comes, I, too, will take a snake bite victim to hospital and not to any ojha or witch doctor,” the 49-year-old bachelor said.

On Tuesday, Ratan was bitten by a king cobra that he had picked up from a road in the garden. After the snake buried its fangs on Ratan’s hands, the worker had torn the cobra into pieces with his teeth. As the crowd watched in horror— some people also clicking the scene on their cellphones — Ratan, not known to be a snake charmer, slumped to the ground. He was taken to the Falakata hospital, 3km from the garden.

Later he was shifted to the Jalpaiguri district hospital.

“The snake kept blocking my path. I got irritated and lifted it up. Then I started playing with it and strung it around my neck. When the snake bit me, I got very angry and tore it into pieces. Suddenly, I felt sleepy and fell to the ground. I woke up in the hospital,” Ratan said today.

He said it was the third time that he had caught a snake.

“This is the first time that I caught a king cobra and also the first time that I got bitten by a snake.”

Sahodeb Oraon, a resident of the garden, said: “We never thought Ratan would return. We think he had divine powers which helped him survive. We are very happy that Ratan is well and he is back.”

Sukhomoy Sarkar, the doctor at the Falakata rural hospital who had attended to Ratan, said: “If the snake is a cobra then the patient must be admitted within half an hour because the poison attacks the nervous system very fast. Ratan was brought a little late but his body resistance was high and he could survive.”

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