Odisha: Man held for killing wife, daughter using cobra, forest department starts probe

Odisha: Man held for killing wife, daughter using cobra, forest department starts probe

Bhubaneswar/Berhampur, Nov 24 (PTI) A day after police arrested a man on charges of killing his wife and daughter by using a venomous snake, Odisha’s principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) Sushant Nada on Friday ordered an inquiry into the snakebite death case.

The Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) has also been asked to undertake a detailed investigation and submit a report on how a cobra ended up with the accused and whether the reptile was killed thereafter.

'We have received some inputs saying the snake was killed after the death of two persons. Our officer will probe how the accused got hold of the cobra and used it in the crime,' Nanda said.

Wildlife activist Suvendu Mallick said venomous snakes like King Cobra, Monocled Cobra, Spectacled Cobra and Russell’s Viper are protected by law under Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Any harm to such animals attract a penalty of 3 to 7 years of imprisonment or a fine of Rs 10,000, he added.

Police on Thursday arrested K Ganesh Patra (25) for killing his wife K Basanti Patra (23) and their daughter Debasmita (2) by releasing a venomous snake into their room in Odisha's Ganjam district. The incident took place at Adheigaon village in Kabisurya Nagar area, around 60 km from Berhampur.

The couple was married in 2020. The accused had allegedly procured the reptile from a snake charmer, misleading him by saying he would use it for religious purposes, a police officer said.

On October 6, he brought the cobra in a plastic jar and released it in the room where his wife and daughter slept. Both were found dead with snake bites the next morning, while the accused slept in another room.

Police initially registered an unnatural death case, but questioned the accused after his father-in-law lodged an FIR accusing him of being involved in the death of the two, Ganjam superintendent of police Jagmohan Meena said.

'The accused was arrested a month after the incident as there was some delay in gathering evidence against him. During interrogation, he initially denied the allegation and later claimed that the snake might have entered the room on its own. He later confessed that he committed the crime,' the SP said, adding further investigation is underway. PTI COR ACD BDC AAM MNB

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