India

After failed bid with viper, Kerala man kills wife with cobra: police

After failed bid with viper, Kerala man kills wife with cobra: police
The man who supplied the husband with the snake has also been arrested. (File)

Two snakebites a young mother sustained in two months and her death unravelled as an alleged murder plotted by her husband in Kollam district.

Police on Sunday arrested Sooraj, 27, a native of Adoor and Santosh, 47, a snake handler, on charges of killing Sooraj’s wife Uthra, 25, a native of Kollam.

Uthra was recovering at her parents’ house after a viper bit her on the night of March 2 while she was at Sooraj’s house. On May 7, she was fatally bitten by a cobra while the couple were asleep with their one-and-a-half-year-old son.

Uthra’s father is an affluent businessman and her mother a schoolteacher while Sooraj, who worked in a private financial institution, comes from a lower middle-class family.

Kollam Rural Superintendent of Police (SP) Harisanker said the couple had a strained relationship. A family friend said Uthra’s father had given her 120 sovereigns of gold and he used to regularly help the in-laws. Sooraj planned to kill Uthra to pocket her gold and marry someone else, the officer said.

Police began a probe after her family got suspicious of Sooraj’s explanation that the snake had slithered in through a window they had kept open, because the couple were in an air-conditioned room. Besides, on March 2, Sooraj withdrew 90 sovereigns of gold ornaments from a bank locker they jointly held.

“He (Sooraj) bought a viper on February 26. The first attempt was on the night of March 2, but failed…” said the officer.

Harisanker said Sooraj then bought a cobra on April 24. On May 6, he went to Uthra’s house with the snake hidden in a bottle. While she was asleep at night, Sooraj then threw the snake at her. After biting Uthra, the snake crawled behind a cupboard.

In the morning, Uthra’s mother noticed her daughter was unconscious. She was rushed to hospital, but couldn’t be saved, the police said.

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