In the rarest of rare case, the Kollam Additional Sessions Court on Monday found Suraj S Kumar (28) guilty of killing his wife Uthra by biting him. When Judge M Manoj read out the guilty verdict, the accused was present in the court. The sentence will be announced on October 13.
The prosecution appealed to the court to award the death sentence to the accused as the offense was ‘satanic, gruesome’ in nature.
The case pertains to May 7, 2020, when Uthra (25), the mother of a one-year-old child, was found dead by a snake bite at her home in Aanchal, Kollam district of Kerala. It is being told that the cobra who bit her and later found her in the same bedroom, she got up in the night, bit her husband Suraj and their one year old child while sleeping.
Although it was initially dismissed as a snakebite death by the local police, the fact that Uthra was earlier bitten by a viper at her in-laws’ house on March 2, 2020, required her hospitalisation. There was, and there was a complaint of dishonesty. Her death by her parents forced the higher police officers to launch a detailed investigation.
After a thorough investigation led by the then Kollam Rural SP Harishankar, the authorities concluded that Suraj, an employee of a private financial institution, had hatched a conspiracy to kill his wife Uthra for snakebite.
The police claimed that Sooraj bought both the snake and the cobra from the snake handler to kill his wife and make her look like a natural snake bite. Although an attempt to bite the viper in March 2020 failed as he was admitted to the hospital in time, he managed to repeat the devious act with a cobra two months later. He was being treated for more than 50 days in a hospital after the first snakebite.
According to the police version, the couple had a strained relationship and Uthra’s parents alleged that her in-laws regularly harassed her over dowry. The Kollam crime branch, which headed the investigation, had filed a 1000-page chargesheet in the case, detailing how Sooraj carried out the murder using scientific and circumstantial evidence.