The police in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani have booked five people in connection with the death of a businessman, whose body was found in a car with mark of snake bites, according to Hindustan Times. The outlet further said that a snake charmer has been arrested and they are looking for the businessman’s girlfriend and three other people. Police claim that businessman Ankit Chauhan’s girlfriend, Mahi Arya, hired the snake charmer to get her husband killed with the help of her friends.

They are looking for Ms Arya, her friend Deep Kandpal and her two house helps.

The body of Mr Chauhan, 30, was discovered inside his car with the engine running. The vehicle was parked by the side of the road near the Teenpani area, according to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Nainital Pankaj Bhatt.

“The police took custody of Ankit Chauhan’s body on July 15 and sent it for a postmortem examination, which revealed that he had died from snake venom,” the SSP was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.

As part of their investigation, the police scanned the call records of Mr Chauhan, after which they came to know about Ms Arya. “Further investigation led us to a snake charmer named Ramesh Nath based in Uttar Pradesh. After placing his number under surveillance, he was arrested on Monday,” the SSP was quoted as saying by the outlet.

It was initially believed that Mr Chauhan’s death was an accident, but police claimed their investigation revealed that Ms Arya and her aides had released a cobra on him. This was brought to light by the postmortem report, said cops, adding that the incident occurred on July 14 when Mr Chauhan visited the woman’s house.

Citing the autopsy report, Amar Ujala said Mr Chauhan was bitten in his leg by the venomous snake twice. Four police teams were formed, including one for surveillance, and they found out that Ms Arya was in touch with the snake charmer and Kandpal.

The police complaint was lodged by Mr Chauhan’s sister Isha, who blamed Ms Arya and Deep Kandpal for his death. A First Information Report (FIR) was registered against them under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code at the Haldwani police station, the HT report said.

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