BHUBANESWAR: A retired Army doctor who had murdered his wife and stuffed her body parts in tiffin boxes after chopping them into 200 pieces seven years back was awarded life imprisonment by the a sessions court here on Tuesday.
Somnath Parida, who had retired as colonel with the Indian Army, was handed out life sentence by Khurda District and Sessions Judge Loknath Mohapatra.
He was convicted under Section 302 under the Indian Penal Code for murder of his wife Ushashree and Section 201 for disappearance of evidence.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on him.
“As many as 24 witnesses and 28 documents were examined during the trial which started in 2014,” Public Prosecutor Sarada Chandra Samanta told to reporters.
Parida reportedly broke down in the courtroom after the verdict.
The Army doctor was apparently peeved with his daughter who had denied to give him some money and was allegedly infuriated after Ushashree invited her to visit them.
The couple’s daughter and son staying in Middle East, two brothers and a nephew of the victim, two doctors, three policemen, two locals, and others were examined during the prosecution.
On June 21, 2013, Parida was arrested in a late evening operation by Bhubaneswar Police from his IRC Village residence.
The cops found to their horror 200 pieces of Ushashree’s body packed in 20-odd tiffin boxes, which apparently took him several days and used phenyl to smother the stink.
The matter came to light when the victim’s brother Ranjan Samal got suspicious after his sister did not respond to calls from her son for several days.
When he visited the house, Parida would not let him in. That evening, he tried to sneak in with other relatives and detected stench emanating from the house following which he alerted the police.
Parida was avoiding his son’s requests to let him speak to his mother by misleading him, which made him suspicious and he urged his uncle to visit their home, said Samanta.
Parida did not even let the domestic help to come in and avoided contact with his relatives.
During interrogation, he had stated that his wife committed suicide and wanted the final rites to be held at Shirdi which is why he had chopped them into pieces for convenience of transportation.
“Trial of the case commenced in 2014. Parida was frequently changing his statements during the trial,” said Samanta.
The case was also a very difficult one for the police as there were no eyewitnesses to the crime.
However, circumstantial and forensic evidence worked in favour of the prosecution as the investigation revealed that Parida used a blunt object to hit his wife which was revealed from a deep injury to the skull.
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