A 27-year-old man who goes by Sooraj S. Kumar was convicted of murdering his 25-year-old wife in the year 2020. The crime, although brutal, was seen through in quite an eccentric and intriguing manner. The victim, Uthra, was staying at her parents’ house recovering from a previous Russell’s viper Bite, post which she had to not only get plastic surgery but also live life as a differently-abled person after being paralyzed; she had a one-year-old child and had been married for 2 years.
One day after dinner, she and Sooraj went to sleep and the next morning only Sooraj woke up out of the two, and suspiciously earlier than he usually did, as noted by Uthra’s parents. Uthra was found unconscious after being bitten by a snake, she was bitten on the night of 6th may, 2020 and succumbed to the venom the next day (7th may 2020), a King Cobra was later discovered in the room and killed.
One week after his daughter’s death, Uthra’s father, Vijayasenan, reached out to the local police, declaring that he strongly suspected foul play in his daughter’s death and that the death was framed to look like an accident since it was too unusual to be one. After briefing the police with all the necessary and relevant details about her previous Viper bite and about Sooraj’s expertise in handling venomous snakes, the police were nearly sure of the husband’s involvement in the murder.
The parents consulted a noted snake expert, Vava Suresh and he concluded that in both cases it would have been impossible for the respective breeds of snakes to attack Uthra unaided, he also deduced that the cobra must have been “hurt” or perhaps, starved to get it to bite Uthra. After these conjectures, it became perspicuous to everyone what actually happened.
The police officially arrested Sooraj as the prime suspect along with Chavarukavu Suresh Kumar, the snake catcher from which he brought both the snakes for Rs. 10,000 each. Sooraj ultimately confessed to his crimes on 12th July 2020. Vividly narrating the crime to the police, he told that he had given sleep-inducing medications to his wife on the night of the murder and had released the Cobra into the room; the cobra had been starved for several days prior to the murder, to make sure it would bite his wife.
To no one’s surprise, Sooraj’s ulterior motives were all related to greed, he wanted to plunder his wife’s wealth for himself and he had his family’s backing as well; all of whom, were later arrested under charges of domestic violence, conspiracy, destruction of evidence and hiding 38 sovereigns of gold jewellery, they also forcefully plucked most of her dowry from her, dissolved her bank locker on the day of the first snake bite, and seized all of her gold, which the Police discovered buried in a nearby rubber plantation.
The snake catcher, who was initially a suspect testified against Sooraj in December 2020 and became an approver, he also stated that the snakes captured by him are released into the forest with the help of the Indian Forest Officials.
On 13th October 2021, Sooraj was finally sentenced to a double life term under charges of murder, attempted murder, attempted permanent injury, and destruction of evidence.