A group of villagers in Rajarhat’s Matiagacha near Kamduni stood guard around a 5ft-long snake for a couple of hours against a group trying to kill it.
The snake caught the attention of the villagers while it was trying to cross the road in front of Atiar Sapui’s house.
A group of six to seven men, armed with sticks, wanted to kill the snake, which was later identified as a Russell’s viper.
The species is notorious for causing the maximum number of deaths from snake bites.
Hearing the commotion, Sapui came out of his house and started requesting the other villagers not to kill the snake.
In the meantime, a few of Sapui’s neighbours joined and asked the other men not to kill the snake with sticks.
Snakes are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Sapui said he first saw the snake dart out of his backyard and he thought it would disappear into the bushes nearby.
“I stepped out of my home after hearing a commotion and found the snake headed towards the road that leads to the market,” he said.
While most people in the neighbourhood and passers-by started gathering with sticks and stones in their hands, Sapui and some of his neighbours requested everyone not to kill the snake.
Around the same time another group of villagers, led by Zabid Ali, 62, put a wicker basket on top of the snake.
At one point, both Ali and Sapui told the others that they would call police if needed. The others then went back a few steps and stood at a distance.
The Wildlife rescue centre in Salt Lake rescued the snake and brought it back to the centre in a vehicle.