Kerala court gives double life term to man in snake bite murder case

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A court in Kerala’s Kollam on Wednesday gave double life term to the man who was found guilty of killing his wife using a cobra. Though the court had called it one of the rarest of the rare cases, it spared the death sentence considering the age of the husband, P Sooraj. The court said it will give a wrong message to people with such criminal minds.

The 32-year-old has to undergo all sentences separately, the court said, adding that life sentence will start only after 17 years, which means he has to spend rest of his life in jail.

The court had on Monday convicted Sooraj of murder for letting loose a cobra on his wife while she was sleeping, and forcing it to bite her. The prosecution had sought capital punishment for him.

Uthra, his 25-year-old wife, suffered a bite at her home while she was undergoing treatment for another snake bite she suffered. She managed to recover from the first bite, but could not survive the second.

The parents of Uthra said they were not satisfied as they expected death sentence. They said they will move the Kerala high court for death sentence.

This was Sooraj’s second attempt, after having failed in his first with a viper earlier in February last year. Both the snakes were procured through a snake handler Suresh.

The case had come to the fore in May last year after Uthra’s parents filed a police complaint two days after her death alleging Sooraj and his family members harassed their daughter for dowry. Uthra’s parents told the investigators that her in-laws frequently harassed her for more dowry. They said they gave 90 sovereigns of gold, ₹5 lakh cash and a car to them.

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