A 27-year-old man killed his wife with a cobra in attempts to get a hold of her dowry and marry another person.
Earlier in March, the man from India identified as Sooraj bought a highly venomous Russell’s viper for 5,000 rupees (RM288) which he released into his house, reported India Today. The wife, Uthra, was bitten by the viper but survived the ordeal after receiving treatment at the hospital and was discharged on 22 April.
While she was still recovering, Sooraj attempted to kill her a second time on 6 May. He spent another 5,000 rupees (RM288) on a cobra from a snake catcher and tossed the snake on Uthra while she was sleeping.
Uthra, 25, was found dead at her house in Anchal on 7 May. The initial investigation pointed at snakebite as the cause of death. However, Uthra’s family became suspicious after two snakebite incidents.
Police investigations later revealed that they found digital evidence on the man’s phone which showed that he had been watching snake-related videos on YouTube in the last three months, apparently trying to learn how to handle a snake.
“He watched the snake bite her twice. On May 7 morning, he got out of the room as usual and her mother found her unconscious,” the police said.
He was not so well off and wanted her assets
According to NST, Uthra was from an affluent family while Sooraj who worked at a private bank, was not so well off. Sooraj had tried to secure ownership of his wife’s property just days after her death which added to Uthra’s family’s suspicions.
The police said that money was the actual motive behind the crime. Though Sooraj received a huge amount of money and gold as dowry, he wasn’t satisfied with Uthra. He wanted to take the money and find a better partner, reported India Today.
The couple, who had a one-year-old child, had received a huge dowry comprising of nearly 100 gold coins, a new car and about 500,000 rupees (approx. RM29,000).
“Sooraj feared that divorcing Uthra would mean giving back all the dowry. That’s when he decided to kill her,” the police said.
Sooraj and the snake supplier has since been arrested, said Kollam police chief K S Hari Shanker while the cobra has been killed.
Police also added that the snake catcher had been involved in illegal trade of the reptiles and the forest department, which has been informed, will file a separate case.
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