On May 7, 2020, 25 year old woman named as Uthra was discovered dead in her parents’ home. She was allegedly bitten by a deadly snake that her bank employee husband, Sooraj, had purchased from a snake catcher.
Sooraj admitted to the crime after his arrest, stating he had sedated Uthra with sleeping medications and then put the cobra that bit her.
Sooraj allegedly attempted to murder Uthra for the second time. Sooraj rented a viper in March 2020, and it bit Uthra. When she was recovering at her parents’ house, she was bitten by a cobra.
The motive for the murder was considered to be financial. Uthra’s parents revealed that the spouse was given a dowry of 98 sovereigns worth of gold jewellery. Domestic violence charges have also been levelled against him. Meanwhile, Sooraj was charged with murdering his wife, and his parents and sister were charged with domestic violence.
Crime Scene Reconstruction by Kerala Police
The Kerala police team investigating Uthra’s murder attempted to reconstruct the crime scene with a live snake and a dummy.
Last year, the reconstruction took place at the forest department’s state training centre in Arippa, Kollam district. On Thursday, however, a video of the reconstruction was released.
Several scenarios were examined by the investigating team during the dummy experiment. At first, the snake was thrown onto the dummy at unexpected times. The snake did not bite the dummy even after several falls.
Following that, the team sought to agitate the snake. The dummy’s arm was wrapped in raw chicken meat and waved in front of the snake several times. Despite this, the cobra did not strike.
After several efforts to contact the snake with the dummy arm, the cobra struck. The natural bite was found to be 1.7 cm wide by the team. The crew then captured the snake and, while holding its head, hooked its fangs into the chicken meat wrapped around the dummy’s arm. Significant differences in the data of bite marks were discovered during the experiment’s analysis. The bite marks were 1.7 cm broad when the snake bit after being poked on the body. The mark ranged from 2 cm to 2.4 cm when the snake was grasped by the hand and forced to bite.
Verdict Pronounced: In a Verdict of Kollam court dated October 11, 2021, Sooraj found guilty. Sooraj was convicted under four sections: 302 (Punishment for murder), 307 (Attempt to murder), 328 (Causing harm by means of poison, etc., with purpose to commit an offence), and 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of the offence).