A man found guilty of killing a woman by killing her scalp while asleep has been sentenced to death by a Kerala court.
An Indian man who used a rattlesnake and scorpion to kill his wife has been sentenced twice to life in prison on what the judges say are “rare cases”.
Sooraj Kumar, 28, released Russell’s venomous snake from his wife Uthra, who had been in hospital for about two months, Kerala’s southern government officials said.
When he recovered from his parents’ home, he took a handkerchief from a snake user and threw it at his sleeping wife. His fatal bite killed a 25-year-old woman in May 2020.
Kumar was arrested at his home last year after Uthra’s parents began to suspect him, alleging that their daughter was harassing him for discovering more. The woman’s parents said Kumar tried to confiscate her property after her death.
On Monday, a court in Kollam state of Kerala convicted Kumar of killing and poisoning his wife, as well as attempting to kill her first using a Russell snake.
Judge M Manoj ordered the judge on Wednesday to serve two consecutive years in prison, but did not agree that the prosecutor should receive a heavier sentence considering his age and the opportunity to change, local journalists said.
The ‘disease system’
Sooraj denied the allegations but police said his cell phone showed he was in contact with snake users and had watched snake videos online before being killed in March last year in Kollam.
Sooraj stayed in the room with Uthra’s scorpion after being bitten and started doing the same thing the next day after being notified by the woman’s mother, her counselors said.
“The plot and assassination of the accused to kill Uthra, his sleeping wife, are possible [the case] falling into the category of the most vulnerable, “said the prosecutor, who is seeking his death.
Snake catcher Vava Suresh said it was possible that Sooraj “felt pain to sting them”, the Hindustan Times reported.
Uthra came from a wealthy family, but her husband, a banker, was not doing well. Their marriage paid a hefty fine plus a new car and 500,000 rupees (about $ 6,640).
According to media reports, Kumar’s family was charged with conspiracy to find that some of Uthra’s gold was found buried near his home a few days after he was killed.
The Supreme Court of India recently warned of the practice of snake bites while banning the bail of a mother and her “lover” who is accused of using a snake to kill her mother-in-law in the northern state of Rajasthan in 2019.
The main challenge in the Kerala case was to prove that snake bites were fatal, Judge G Mohanraj said, adding that the court had given a test that showed the difference between natural and man-made wounds.
Two judges have been convicted by similar courts in recent years after cases ruled that poisonous snakes were used as a “deadly weapon”, a Hindu newspaper reported.