Kollam: A shocking case of a woman's murder by the use of a deadly snake is now before the court here and the cross-examination of the approver has been completed amid emotional scenes.
Police say Anchal resident Uthra died of snake bite hours after her husband Sooraj let loose a cobra into her room on the night of May 6 night.
Snake-catcher Suresh, who turned approver in the case, recognized the photographs of the snake that he had sold to Sooraj. He cried profusely in the midst of trial proceedings.
When defense counsel told the approver; you haven’t committed the murder. Suresh replied: ‘He killed the woman because I gave the snake to him."
The court examined the mobile phone footage of Suresh catching the cobra and viper that he had sold to Sooraj.
The trial was on at the Additional District Sessions Court, Kollam, for the second consecutive day on Wednesday. The counsel for the accused cross examined the snake-catcher. He was earlier arraigned as second accused in the case and had later turned approver.
Utthara's relatives’ will be cross-examined next week.
Suresh who was lodged at the Kottayam Special Sub-Jail was brought to the court for cross-examination. He deposed that Sooraj had bought the cobra from him for Rs 7,000.
He had bought the cobra saying that he needed the snake to eat the snakelets delivered by Viper.
Excerpts from Suresh’s statement: "I came to know about Uthra's death from newspapers. Immediately I tried to contact Sooraj over the phone but couldn’t get him. The next day Sooraj called me from another phone and informed me that his wife had died. When I asked him why he committed such a big sin, Sooraj replied that he was fed up of living with his differently abled wife.
He told me not to disclose this to anyone. People will take it as due to "sarpa dosha" (the wrath of snakes, a popular belief). Otherwise you will also become an accused in murder case.
While in jail when I cried recollecting the incident, a fellow inmate told me to inform the court about the truth. Subsequently, I filed an application. If I die the truth may not come out ever. Therefore I decided to disclose everything to bring out the truth. Usually snakes caught by me are released into the forest with the help of forest officials.
On February 12 Sooraj had called me over the phone and introduced himself. Subsequently, he came and met me at Chathannoor. He bought the viper on March 21.”
The witness identified the jar used by the accused for carrying the snake, a bag and his own cell phones.