A 27-year-old man identified only as “Sooraj” has been apprehended for allegedly murdering his wife by letting loose a cobra in her room after first failing to kill her with a viper.
According to correspondents, Sooraj, who worked in a private bank, bought the snake to kill his wife, Uthra.
The police in the southern state of Kerala, India, said he had planned to take away her money, gold, and marry someone else.
It said phone records showed Sooraj had been in contact with serpent handlers and had also watched snake videos on the internet.
Uthra, 25, is reported to have been bitten by a viper on March 2 at her husband’s home and then again by a cobra within a week.
She was recuperating at her parents’ house earlier this month when Sooraj obtained a cobra from a snake handler.
According to reports, he threw the snake at his wife while she was asleep, sat in the bed, and watched the snake bite Uthra twice.
She was taken to the hospital the next morning, where she was declared dead from the bite.
But when he tried to secure ownership of his wife’s property days after her death, her parents called the police.
Police said the marriage had involved a huge dowry comprising nearly 100 gold coins, a new car and some 500,000 rupees (around $20,000) in cash.
“Sooraj feared that divorcing Uthra would mean giving back all the dowry. That’s when he decided to kill her,” the police statement said.
The snake provider was also arrested, it added.