A Kerala man has been found guilty of murdering his wife by inducing a cobra bite on the 25-year-old woman.

According to The Quint, an Additional Sessions Court in Kollam district passed the verdict against Sooraj S Kumar for the murder of Uthra, yesterday.

It is believed to be the first case in Kerala where an accused had used a live animal to kill a person.

The incident reportedly happened on May 7 last year. It was initially considered a natural snakebite, but investigations took a turn after the deceased's family alleged that she was murdered for dowry.

This was reportedly note the first time Sooraj had used a snake against his wife. Just two months prior to Uthra's death, in March 2020, she was bitten by a viper, following which she was bed-ridden for 52 days and had to undergo a plastic surgery.

No suspicion initially fell on Sooraj following Uthra's death. Instead, her family and her neighbours assumed that it was a case of "sarppa kopam" (wrath of the snake) that was haunting the family.

It was only after the family suspected foul play in her death and lodged a police report did the planning behind the macabre murder unravel.

Upon interrogation, Sooraj confessed to having bought two snakes for Rs10,000 (RM553) from a snake handler, in the pretext of getting rid of a rodent problem.

Prior to the murder, the accused reportedly gave sleeping pills to wife and then held the hood of the snake against her hand, to induce a bite.

Police investigations revealed that the bumbling criminal had even researched about snake bites and how to agitate a snake on YouTube a few days prior to the murder, and had taken most of his wife's gold jewellery.

The couple got married in March 2018 and have a one-and-a-half-year-old son when Uthra died. The child is now being looked after by her parents.

The court is expected to pass the sentence against Sooraj tomorrow (Oct 13).

Source: The Quint
Photo source: The Quint, shutterstock