A man has been arrested for allegedly murdering his wife by letting loose a cobra in her room after first failing with a viper, police said on Monday.
According to police in the southern state of Kerala, India, phone records showed Sooraj, 27, had been in contact with serpent handlers and had also watched snake videos on the internet.
Sooraj got hold of a highly venomous Russell’s viper in March and released it into her bedroom. The viper bit his wife Uthra and left her in hospital for almost two months, police official Ashok Kumar said.
After she was discharged earlier this month, she moved into her parents’ house to recuperate.
Sooraj made another attempt on her life while she was at her parents’. He obtained a cobra from a snake handler and threw it at his sleeping wife.
A police statement said: “Sooraj stayed in the same room as Uthra as if nothing had happened.
“He was going about his morning routine the next day when he was alerted by Uthra’s mother’s screams.”
It added: “They took her to the hospital where the doctor said she had died.”
According to MonoramaOnline, Uthra’s parents became suspicious when Sooraj tried to secure ownership of his wife’s property just days after her death.
She was from an affluent family, but Sooraj, who worked in a private bank, was not doing so well financially.
The couple had a one-year-old child.
Police said the marriage had involved a huge dowry comprising nearly 100 gold coins, a new car and some 500,000 rupees (around $20,000) in cash.
“Sooraj feared that divorcing Uthra would mean giving back all the dowry. That’s when he decided to kill her,” the police statement said.
The snake provider was also arrested, the statement added.