A retired Army officer was given life imprisonment after he was found guilty of murdering his wife. Lt Col Somanath Parida was given the sentence after the circumstantial evidence against the retired Army doctor was proved during the investigation in the case. The 78-year-old doctor has however denied any involvement in the crime and claims that he is innocent.
Khurda District and Sessions Court Judge Loknath Mohapatra found the doctor guilty of chopping his wife Ushashree Parida and keeping the body in steel containers at his residence. The case took place in Bhubaneswar in 2013.
Government pleader RR Barhma said that due to no eyewitnesses in the case; Parida's conviction was based on circumstantial evidence thereby finding him guilty.
On June 3, 2013, the doctor cut his wife's body brutally in pieces. Ushashree was 62 at the time of her death. This led to his arrest on June 21 after relatives expressed suspicion and filed a complaint at the Nayapally police station.
According to the government pleader, the victim's daughter resided abroad and was trying to speak to her mother for some time. When she asked her father to call her mother on the phone; he declined. After receiving no response from Ushashree, she informed her relatives about her mother's absence.
Ushashree's nephew and her brother soon visited Parida's house in the IRC Village area to enquire about her. He, however, did not open the door for a long time and this led to suspicion among the visitors. After repeatedly pressing the doorbell, he opened the door. However, they were turned away when they inquired about Ushashree.
The duo suspected that Ushashree is in trouble and informed the police. When the police came to Parida's house, they sensed a foul smell emanating from the house. On searching the house, they found Ushashree's body cut into 300 pieces and stuffed inside steel containers kept inside the house. During the search, a chopper, a knife and two cutters were also seized from the spot.
While being taken to judicial custody, Parida pleaded, "I am innocent and did not kill my wife."