Retd army doc chops wife's body into small pieces, arrested

Police have arrested a 71-year-old retired army doctor, who allegedly killed his 61-year-old wife and chopped her body into small pieces before stashing them in tiffin carriers over the past three weeks.

Lt Col (retd) Dr Somnath Parida was arrested by the police Friday night from his posh IRC Village residence in Bhubaneswar after his wife's relatives and her son, who is in the US, complained to the police about her mysterious disappearance some time back. When the police arrived at Parida's residence, a stench led them to question him.

The police said that after some tough questioning Parida revealed that he had been dismembering his wife's body since June 3 and stuffing them in 22 small tiffin containers. "Using a surgeon's scalpel, scissor, saw and a kitchen knife, he would meticuloulsy cut the flesh into six inches and then poured phenyle on it to kill the stench. He then stored the tiffin carriers in two Army trunks," said Bhubaneswar DCP Nitinjeet Singh.

"All throughout, he would go on with his ghastly work even as his gardener would come to work early morning every day. During interrogation, he came out as a very calm person, but kept on with his theory that his wife committed suicide," he said.

The police have seized a chopper, knife and two cutters from Parida's house.

After retirement in 1992, Parida worked as a consultant with several organisations including WHO. He is now working in the clinic of a city-based hospital. The doctor and his wife reportedly had a long history of marital discord, but they never approached the police or court. The doctor's daughter, who lived in Abu Dhabi, also did not get along with her father.

Though the police are yet to know the actual reason that led to Parida killing his wife, the accused kept on saying his wife committed suicide. "He told us that his wife committed suicide by banging her head. He then told us that his wife wanted to be cremated on the day of Shirdi Sai Baba's birth anniversary on September 27 and that is why he wanted to preserve the body," said the DCP. "He had surgically dismembered almost all the parts except the thigh, which proved to be a difficult task for him. So two days ago he got a hacksaw from a local market. He was trying his best to remove all traces of murder."

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