A 63-year-old actress has died after a live snake being used as a prop in a 'jatra' bit her during the show in North 24 Parganas district, police said on Wednesday.
The incident occurred at Barunhat village in Hasnabad police station area on Tuesday night.
After the snake bit Kalidasi Mondal, she was taken to hospital where she was declared brought dead, police said.
A co-actress of Mondal, however, alleged that after the incident, an 'ojha' tried to cure her but failed. Mondal was taken to the local primary health centre but she had died by then, she said.
People in many areas of India believe that an 'ojha' can cure a snake bite case by chanting 'mantra' and using herbs. The police said nobody lodged any complaint yet on this but they are investigating the incident.
The snake was needed in the 'jatra' (rural theatre) as it was based on 'Manasamangal Kavya', a mediaval era literature that narrates the story of how snake goddess Manasa establishes her worship in Bengal.
Basirhat police district SP, S Rajkumar, confirmed the incident and said the body has been sent for post-mortem examination.