After 2019's cyanide killings, Kerala's snakebite murder hits global headlines

After 2019's cyanide killings, Kerala's snakebite murder hits global headlines
Sooraj and Suresh, the two accused in the snakebite murder in Kollam. Photo: Manorama

The snakebite murder of a young woman by her husband in the quaint town of Anchal in Kerala's Kollam district is grabbing headlines globally.

Sky News' Tom Gillespie reported the murder on Tuesday quoting Onmanorama.

Man arrested on suspicion of murder after wife dies from cobra bite in Kerala, read the headline of the detailed Sky News story, which had 572 words and three pictures, published on May 26.

Gulf News' article 'Kollam, Kerala: Woman dies of snakebite, the husband allegedly planned it for 5 months' quoted the woman's family saying 'If he is guilty, let him be punished'.

'A slithery twist to a crime story', wrote Khaleej Times, which covered the story in a long spread in their paper.

Gulf Today, Gulf Times and Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror too featured the story prominently.

Uthra, 25, died of snakebite, at her house on May 7. She was recuperating after treatment for a previous snakebite on March 2. The presence of Sooraj, the woman's husband, on both the occasions raised suspicion. A probe was soon ordered on the request of the woman's family.

After rigorous questioning, Sooraj confessed to plotting the murder due to fear that he may have to return the dowry – 96 sovereigns of gold, Rs 5 lakh, and the car and a pick-up van – after Uthra sought a divorce.

He bought the venomous snake from Suresh, an acquaintance and orchestrated the murder with a snakebite while Uthra was asleep.

The 27-year-old had reportedly bought the two snakes for Rs 10,000.

The probe revealed that Sooraj had prior experience in handling snakes and had searched the topic on YouTube several times in the past three months.

The buried snake was dug up on Tuesday and sent for autopsy.

This is the second big murder to hit global headlines in recent month. In October 2019, the murder of six in a family over a span of 14 years in Kerala's Koodathayi too drew considerable media and public interest across the world.

The story was featured prominently in the New York Times, CNN and other leading media.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.