Man who killed wife using Cobra gets rare double life sentence

Soraaj S. Kumar, a 28-year-old man from Kerala, India, has been found guilty of murdering his wife with a venomous cobra.
On Monday last week, Sooraj Kumar was found guilty of committing “snake homicide” against his wife, Uthra, on May 7, 2020. The 25-year-old died in her sleep at her parents’ house, where the couple had been staying with their young child. She was found lying unconscious by her mother the next morning.
Sooraj Kumar was arrested last year after his wife, Uthra, died from a snakebite.
Police began investigating after her family alleged murder, saying Sooraj had been harassing them for dowry.
Her family became suspicious because Uthra had been bitten by a Russell’s viper just weeks earlier. She was recovering from the first snakebite when she was attacked by the cobra.
Police said their investigation pointed to Sooraj being behind both attempts. They also arrested a man who had helped him procure the snakes – he later turned “approver” and helped police piece together the case.
The prosecution had argued that it was a “rarest of rare cases” and demanded the death penalty for the accused.
The judge agreed that it was a rare case and awarded a double life sentence to Sooraj and also ordered him to pay a fine of 500,000 rupees ($6,635; £4,869).

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