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A Man From Kerala Murdered His Wife Using A Snake Because He Wanted More Money. When Will Dowry Deaths Stop?

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In the last five years, the state of Kerala has seen 56 deaths caused by snake bites. So ordinarily, there wouldn’t have been any room for suspicion if a woman were to get bitten and die due to the venom. Except, it didn’t seem all that regular in the case of 25-year-old Uthra, who lost her life on 7th May after being bitten by a cobra. But as the murky details of what preceded this tragic event emerged, a series of events, each more tragic than the previous one have emerged. And now the police are certain that this was not an accident, but a well-planned murder at the hands her own husband.

The beginning

In 2018, Uthra, a homemaker, married Sooraj, an employee in a private finance company. The bride’s family gave her 784 grams of gold as well as a car. This was dowry and despite the practise being abolished, you’ve to admit, this guy got quite a lot. The couple went on to have a child together.

We are guessing things were okay in beginning. But Sooraj wasn’t happy which lead to this.

One failed attempt

The first alleged attempt to murder took place on the 2nd of March. Uthra was bitten by a venomous Russell’s viper snake outside Sooraj’s residence in Adoor, Kerala. She was admitted to a hospital and battled for her life until April 22nd, when she was finally cured and discharged. She went home with her parents. Later, Uthra confided in them that she had seen the viper lurking around the house. “This aroused suspicions in me,” her father Vijayasenan told the media. “Also, she was bitten by the snake around 8:30 pm, but taken to the hospital only around 3 am. Why was that? Moreover, I knew Sooraj wanted more money.” But it wasn’t until the second alleged attempt became successful that Uthra’s parents approached the police with their suspicions.

The second time

On the 7th of May, Uthra was bitten by a snake for the second time – this time a cobra – and she did not survive the attack. The cobra was found under the cupboard in the room on that same day. It was killed and buried in the house.

The accusation

The police say that Sooraj bought a cobra for Rs. 10,000 and took it to Uthra’s house. “When she was sleeping, he took the cobra out of the jar in which he had kept it. He put the snake on her and watched as the snake bit her twice. However, Sooraj could not catch the cobra again, and therefore, in the morning, he left the room as if nothing had happened. Our case is that he watched her die.” These are the words of Hari Sankar, the Kollam Rural Superintendent of Police.

The evidence

Sooraj was part of a group of wildlife enthusiasts. The police say that he has confessed to watching YouTube videos of snake catchers on his phone. He found one such snake catcher, Kaluvathikal Suresh, on the internet and procured both snakes from him. Suresh’s son, Sanal, has confirmed that Suresh had approached his father for the snakes. “He told my father that there was a rat infestation. First he got a viper from him, he said he wanted it for a day. He didn’t return the snake. A month later he asked for a cobra. When I read about Uthra’s death in the paper, I had told my dad to go and tell the police everything, but he didn’t. Now the police are calling him a co-conspirator.

What now?

After the shocking and compelling evidence found, the police have now arrested Sooraj and are looking into further investigation. One theory seems to be that Sooraj’s plan was to murder her, take her money, and get married to someone else. However, this is just a theory and has not been confirmed. The investigation team will be extracting the snake’s DNA as evidence in the case.

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