On Tuesday, officers familiar with the matter reported that the police in Haldwani, Uttarakhand, have booked five individuals for allegedly using a cobra to kill a 30-year-old businessman and attempting to pass off the murder as an accident. The authorities have arrested a snake charmer named Ramesh Nath from Uttar Pradesh, while the other four suspects—identified as Mahi alias Dolly Arya, the woman in a relationship with the victim, her friend Deep Kandpal, and two house helps—are currently evading arrest.
The victim, a 30-year-old man named Ankit Chauhan, was discovered dead inside his car with the ignition on, parked by the side of the road near the Teenpani area, according to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Nainital Pankaj Bhatt. On July 15, Chauhan, a trader, was found dead in his vehicle. Following this, the police took custody of his body and sent it for a postmortem examination, which revealed that he died due to snake venom, the SSP added.
Upon analyzing Chauhan’s call details, the police discovered his association with a woman named Mahi. Further investigation led them to track the call records of Mahi, which eventually led to the contact information of Ramesh Nath, a snake charmer based in Uttar Pradesh. After placing his number under surveillance, Nath was arrested on Monday in Uttar Pradesh. During interrogation, he disclosed that the woman, along with her friend Deep Kandpal and two house helps, conspired to kill Chauhan by using a cobra, according to the senior officer.
Initially, the police suspected that Chauhan’s death was an accident, possibly caused by excessive carbon monoxide inside the enclosed vehicle. However, after receiving the postmortem report, the investigation took a different direction. It was determined that the incident occurred on July 14 when Chauhan visited Mahi’s residence, where the other four accused were present. They likely incapacitated him by making him consume alcohol or another substance, rendering him unconscious, and subsequently unleashed the cobra on him, stated the SSP.
Chauhan’s sister, Isha, also filed a complaint with the police, naming Mahi and Deep Kandpal as the suspects. Based on her complaint, a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against the five accused under section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code at Haldwani police station.
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