A 71-year-old retired army doctor in Bhubaneswar allegedly murdered his wife two weeks ago, chopped her body into pieces and dipped them into chemicals to dispose of them over a period of time.
Police arrested Somnath Parida, a retired lieutenant colonel, following complaints by relatives on Friday night.
They found the body parts in 22 steel containers in two boxes, as well as some sharp-edged weapons and surgical instruments used in cutting the body, at his house in a posh locality in Bhubaneswar.
A file pic of Parida with his wife Ushashree. (Arabinda Mahapatra/HT)
According to investigation, Ushashree Parida, 62, was allegedly murdered on June 3 and her husband had allegedly already disposed of some of her body parts, including the head.
The police are yet to ascertain the motive behind the crime as Parida has proved to be a tough nut to crack giving misleading statements. He said that he chopped the body into pieces after his wife committed suicide by banging her head against a wall.
“Our investigation does not suggest suicide,” Bhubaneswar additional police commissioner Santosh Bala said. “We have sent the body for a forensic test and are awaiting expert opinion.” He added that all angles to the crime were being probed into.
The aged husband and wife were the only occupants of the house; their son and daughters live abroad. Parida worked as a consultant at a private hospital and did not interact much with the neighbours.
When Parida did not respond to his son’s telephone calls for the last few days, the latter asked his relatives to check on them.
A relative went to Parida’s house on Friday night, but the doctor turned him away. Suspicious, he called other relatives, who found a foul smell emanating from the house. They soon informed the police.
“Parida was quite hot-tempered, but we cannot imagine that he could go to such extremes,” said one of the relatives requesting anonymity.
Neighbours too did not have a good impression of Parida; according to them he dressed impeccably, but often quarrelled with them on petty matters. “He often threatened people saying he would get them arrested,” said a neighbour.