India man jailed for killing wife with cobra in Kerala
Sooraj Kumar (center) was convicted of killing his wife with a cobra bite
An Indian man convicted of killing his wife by being bitten by a cobra was given a rare double life sentence.
Sooraj Kumar was arrested last year after his wife Uthra died of a snake bite.
Police started the investigation after her family alleged murder and said Sooraj had molested them over dowry.
On Monday, a court found him guilty of releasing a cobra on the bed while Uthra slept.
The 25-year-old housewife was found dead in her home in May last year.
Her family became suspicious that Uthra had been bitten by a Russell viper a few weeks earlier. She was just recovering from the first snakebite when she was attacked by the cobra.
Police said their investigations suggested Sooraj was behind both attempts. They also arrested a man who had helped him retrieve the snakes - he later became an "approver" and helped the police round up the case.
According to LiveLaw, an Indian legal website, the police's indictments ran 1,000 pages and detailed the lavish conspiracy planned and carried out by Sooraj.
The prosecutor had argued that it was a "rare and rare case" and called for the death penalty for the accused.
The judge agreed that this was a rare occurrence and awarded Sooraj a double life sentence and also fined him 500,000 rupees ($ 6,635; £ 4,869).
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