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The story of Odisha's Somnath Parida: Army doc who chopped his wife into 300 pieces, talked to her head

Mohammad Bilal
Mohammad BilalNov 17, 2022 | 13:17

The story of Odisha's Somnath Parida: Army doc who chopped his wife into 300 pieces, talked to her head

Retired Indian Army doctor Somnath Parida had murdered his wife Ushashree in June, 2013 and later chopped her body into 300 pieces. Photo: Social Media

As more details emerge from the ghastly Delhi crime where 26-year-old Shraddha Walkar was murdered and later dismembered by her live-in partner Aftab Amin Poonawalla, several other cases of horrific murders from the past are back in discussion. These killers, after murdering their victims, went to extreme lengths to conceal the crime. However, the law eventually caught up with them.

(Trigger Warning: Graphic details ahead)

One such case is from Odisha's capital city Bhubaneswar, where a retired Army Colonel, Dr Somnath Parida, killed his wife Ushashree.

  • Parida killed his wife on the night of June 3, 2013.
  • He then chopped the body into 300 pieces,
  • stored them in tiffin boxes, polythene bags and two trunks;
  • and stayed with the body parts in the house for 20 days.

What is the case? 71-year-old Dr Somnath Parida was a retired doctor from the Indian Army. After retirement, he lived at Bhubaneswar's Nayapalli area with his 62-year-old wife Ushashree. 

  • The couple had a son who lived in US at the time of the incident, and a daughter who lived in Dubai.
  • Media reports suggest that Dr Parida was a short-tempered man and would flare up frequently.
  • The couple had frequent fights.
  • On the night of June 3, 2013, one such fight resulted in the death of Ushashree.
  • Dr Parida reportedly used a steel torch to club his wife Ushashree to death.
  • It was reported that Dr Parida chopped up her body into nearly 300 pieces and stored them in a trunk and several steel tiffin boxes. 
  • Several sharp-edged weapons and other equipments were used to dismembering the body of Ushashree.
  • Since Dr Parida was a trained surgeon, he knew the use of scalpels and knives well; something he used to chop his wife into as many pieces.

'Had conversations' with Ushashree's severed head: The most chilling revelation from Dr Parida was about talking to the severed head of his wife Ushashree after he had killed her.

  • The doctor reportedly said, "I kept her severed head on top of a table and talked to her for several days. After a few days, the hair came off along with the skin. I kept the body pieces in a trunk."

The doctor also told the police that he used phenyl and other chemicals to hide the stench from the rotting body parts.

Dr Somnath Parida with his wife Ushashree. Photo: Social Media

How did the murder come to light? When Ushashree's children could not speak with their mother for nearly 18 days, they informed their relatives to pay a visit to Dr Parida's house.

  • On June 22, 2013, Ranjan Samal, Ushashree's brother, visited the house with other relatives and asked Dr Parida about his sister. 
  • However, Dr Parida did not open the door and kept saying that Ushashree had gone to Dubai to be with her daughter. This lie is where Ushashree's relatives suspected something amiss. 
  • When they peeked through the window to see the inside of the house, a foul smell hit them.
  • They then informed the police.

The case unfolds: The police broke open the door and found an iron trunk, in which the chopped body parts of Ushashree were stored.

  • The police found that the body parts were dipped in preservative chemicals, kept in 22 steel tiffin boxes which were locked in two big trunks.
  • The police later also said that they were shocked at just how calm Dr Parida remained, and that he showed no signs of remorse.
  • The police in its charge sheet also said that Dr Parida continued to attend a clinic at a private hospital after the murder. During the trial, he kept denying the murder, maintaining that his wife had killed herself.

Motive: Reports say that Dr Parida and Ushashree would have frequent fights over another woman; a much younger person that Dr Parida was apparently getting close to. The short-tempered doctor did not like being accused of the affair; and one fight resulted in him killing Ushashree.

Sentencing: In February 2020, Dr Parida was sentenced to life imprisonment and also slapped with a fine of Rs 50,000.

  • As Parida heard the verdict, he broke down, Hindustan Times reported.
  • Dr Parida, now 80, is presently lodged at Jharpada jail near Bhubaneswar.
Last updated: November 17, 2022 | 14:37
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