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A man in India has been sentenced to life imprisonment for killing his wife with a cobra.

Agence France-Presse reported that 28-year-old Suraj Kumar was sentenced on Wednesday for the murder of his 25-year-old wife Uthra in May 2020 in what prosecutors termed “rare than rare” cases.

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Prosecutors said Kumar, a bank employee, was unhappy with his marriage and feared that divorcing Uthra would force him to return a large dowry, including a new car and about $20,000 in cash.

Officials said Kumar, who was convicted of murder after pleading not guilty on Monday, first decided last March to let loose a highly venomous Russell’s viper in Uthra’s bedroom, where he was bitten by a snake. And spent almost two months in the hospital.

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When she was recovered at her parents’ home, prosecutors said Kumar carried out her twisted plot using a cobra obtained from the snake’s handler and hurled it at his sleeping wife, prosecutors said. he said.

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Prosecutors said Kumar remained in the room even after his wife was bitten and continued his morning routine on being alerted by Uthra’s mother the next day.

“The manner of execution and the diabolical plan of the accused to kill Uthra, his wife, who was lying on the bed, makes it [the case] A prosecutor seeking the death penalty said, “Rare to rare.”

As Agence France-Presse reports, Uthra’s parents became suspicious of their son-in-law when he tried to take control of her estate after his death.

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Kumar was sentenced after being found guilty of murder in the state of Kerala, NBC News reported. Prosecutors accused him of conspiring to marry his wife for financial gain and to kill her when dissatisfied with their marriage.

“If he divorces her, he will have to give up all her property,” Hariram Shankar, assistant superintendent of Kerala Police, told NBC News. “If he kills her through an apparent murder weapon, the money will also have to be returned. So he wanted to get rid of her which would amount to an accident.”

But the woman’s death was clearly a “planned murder”, Shankar said.

The Indian Express reported that the snake keeper, who has been identified only as Suresh, was also arrested for supplying snakes to Kumar.

Fatal snakebites are not uncommon in India, according to NBC News, citing World Health Organization figures showing 1.2 million such deaths from 2000 to 2019.

Meanwhile, the country’s Supreme Court has suggested that killing by snakes may be part of a growing trend in India, where another man, Krishan Kumar, was one of the three defendants accused of killing a woman from Rajasthan in June 2019. was charged with murder. A bag by his bed.

NBC News reported that the Supreme Court of India refused to grant bail to Kumar on October 6 in the murder of Subodh Devi.

Court documents reveal that when Devi learned that her daughter-in-law Alpana was having an affair, she was murdered. Upon encountering Devi, Alpana and her companion allegedly accompanied Kumar to a snake charmer and bought a poisonous snake, which bit the goddess, killing her.

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