Kerala court finds man guilty of killing wife with cobra
The Kollam Additional Sessions Court on Monday found a man guilty of plotting the murder of his wife by using a cobra to bite her. The accused, 28-year-old Sooraj S Kumar, was present in the court when judge M Manoj read out the verdict. The punishment will be announced on October 13. The prosecution has demanded a death sentence for the accused.
What was the incident?
On May 7, 2020, Kumar's wife Uthra (25) was found dead after she had been bitten by a cobra at her home in Kerala's Kollam district. The poisonous cobra was later found in the same bedroom. It was reported that cobra bit Uthra at night while she slept in the bedroom along with her husband and their one-year-old kid.
Case initially dismissed as snakebite; cops later suspected foul play
The police initially dismissed the incident as a snakebite death. However, suspicions rose as Uthra had been bitten earlier by a viper a few months ago at her in-laws' house in March 2020. After her parents lodged a foul play complaint, the police launched a detailed investigation into the case. The police then started to suspect the husband and arrested him on May 24.
Police probe found that Kumar plotted murder
The police concluded in their investigation that Kumar bought both the viper and the cobra to kill his wife and make it seem like a natural death. Kumar's first attempt to kill Uthra by snakebite was unsuccessful as she was taken to the hospital on time, the police said. The victim reportedly spent 50 days in the hospital following the first snakebite.
Accused later confessed to purchasing snakes
On July 12, the accused husband—an employee of a private financial institution—publicly confessed that he had purchased two snakes on two occasions from a snake catcher from Parippally in Kollam, according to CNN-News18.
Couple had strained relationship, says police
According to the police, the couple had a strained relationship over dowry-related issues. Kumar had reportedly received a dowry, including Rs. 10 lakh cash, property, a new car, and over 100 sovereigns of gold. According to the victim's parents, the accused attempted to extract more dowry from her family. The husband and the in-laws regularly harassed Uthra for the same.