Retired army doctor who chopped his wife into 300 pieces gets life sentence
More than six years after a retired doctor of the Indian Army murdered his 61-year-old wife, chopped her body and packed them into tiffin boxes, a local court in Odisha’s Bhubaneswar sentenced him to life imprisonment on Tuesday.
Lieutenant Colonel (retd) Somnath Parida was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder and destroying evidence by the Khurda district and sessions judge.
The court also slapped the 78-year-old Parida with a Rs 50,000 fine.
Parida broke down after the punishment was pronounced, said public prosecutor Biren Kumar Panda.
Parida had killed his wife Ushasree Samal with a steel torch in a fit of rage in June 2013. He cut her body into 300 pieces and stashed them in small tiffin carriers.
He then hacked her body into six-inch pieces using a surgeon’s scalpel, scissor, saw and a kitchen knife and stashed the body parts in 22 small tiffin containers at his posh residence in Bhubaneswar. He poured phenyl on the body parts to kill the stench.
The murder came to light on June 22, 2013, after Ranjan Samal, his wife’s brother, visited the house along with other relatives to inquire about his sister who did not respond to repeated phone calls from their children staying abroad.
As Parida did not open the door, the relatives attempted to open a window and peek inside when they realised that a foul smell was coming from the house.
Parida was arrested from his residence after Bhubaneswar Police found the body parts of his wife in an iron trunk and tiffins in the house.
The police were intrigued by the doctor’s calm demenour.
“Even after murdering his wife, he continued to attend a clinic in a private hospital. During trial he kept on denying the killing, maintaining that his wife committed suicide and he had stored the body parts to carry them to Shirdi where the last rites would have been conducted,” they said in the chargesheet.
Parida worked as a consultant with several organisations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), after his retirement in 1992.
After their children left home, the couple lived alone and is reported to have a long history of marital discord. A teetotaller, Parida went to bed at 6pm and woke up at 3am.
The judgement in the case was delayed as Parida changed several defence lawyers at regular intervals.