A 32-year-old police constable died Monday after a snake bit him while he was asleep. Nehru Nagar police, who have registered a case of accidental death report, said a three-and-a-half-foot-long cobra had entered his house at police quarters in Kurla (east) in the wee hours on Monday.
Police said the constable, Sunil Bhagat, was posted at Shivaji Nagar police station in Pune but was on deputation duty and worked as an assistant to Deputy Commissioner of Police Virendra Mishra.
Bhagat’s wife, Samruddhi, is posted at Deonar police station. She stays in the police quarters at Nehru Nagar area in Kurla east. Bhagat would visit her on weekends, said an officer.
At about 8.30 pm on Sunday, the couple went to a restaurant in Dadar, from where they went home and slept about 11.30 pm, Samruddhi told police in her statement.
“Feeling uneasiness, Bhagat woke up at around 2.30 am. He asked his wife to get water for him while he went to the bathroom and washed his face. He even vomited,” said an officer from Nehru Nagar police station.
Meanwhile, his wife saw a snake in the kitchen and as she returned to inform Bhagat, she saw him lying unconscious on the floor.
Samruddhi went to Nehru Nagar police station, which is 100 metres from her building, asked for help. Bhagat was then rushed to Sion hospital, where he was declared dead before arrival at 3.44 am.
The Mumbai police control room then informed the Maharashtra Animal Rescue Association. “Samruddhi had closed the door of the kitchen and the snake was locked inside. I went to the spot and rescued the snake. The cobra was released in Aarey forest on Monday,” said Sunil Kadam, an animal rescuer.
Preliminary postmortem reports from Sion hospital confirmed that Bhagat died due to snakebite. Dr Himmatrao Bawaskar, expert in treating snakebite cases, said in case of a cobra bite, a person can die within 15 minutes if the poison spreads fast enough.