Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 25:
Two years after the gruesome murder of Ushashree Parida, by her husband, a retired Army doctor, in the Odisha capital, two key witnesses—the siblings of the deceased—are yet to record their statements in a local court here where the trial is on.
Among the 29 witnesses in the case, Lalit Parida and Lekha Parida—the siblings of the deceased—who are staying abroad are yet to appear before the court to record their statements.
The statements of the duo is said to impact the outcome of the verdict.
The investigating officer (IO), the doctor who had performed the post-mortem and constables are among the witnesses. Of them, over 20 witnesses have recorded their statements in the court.
It may be recalled that the accused–retired Army doctor Somnath Parida– had allegedly chopped off his wife Ushashree Parida’ body into 300-odd pieces and put it in 22 steel boxes stashed in two iron chests. The blood curdling incident which happened in July 2013 in a posh locality had sent shock waves in the city.
The retired colonel of the Army was arrested on July 21, 2013 for killing his wife. Parida is presently lodged in Jharpada Special Jail here since then. In the meantime, his bail pleas have been rejected several times.
The 73-year-old was charged under section 302 (murder) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of IPC.
The 70-page charge sheet was filed in the Additional District and Sessions Judge Court here detailing the role of Dr. Parida in the murder and point to point sequence of events of the sordid crime.
The investigating officers of the case, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Bishnu Mishra and the then inspector of Nayapalli police station Anup Kanungo had filed the charge sheet in the court here well ahead of the 120-day timeframe allowed under law.
This apart, details of the weapon of offence used to kill her and equipment used to chop her body parts seized from his house also found place in the charge sheet. The forensic report of the deceased and the report of the lie detection test conducted on Parida were also part of the charge sheet.
It was mentioned in the charge sheet that it was a cold blooded murder. To make the case strong, the police had included the DNA, viscera and brain mapping reports in the charge sheet.
Notably, the murder was exposed when the deceased’s relatives reached the couple’s IRC Village home after her daughter, Lekha, failing to contact her over phone. Her father used to hang up the call saying she is unwell. When it continued for a couple of days, she grew suspicious and asked the relatives to check on her mother when Parida kept cooking up excuses about her.
When the brother of the deceased and her nephew went to Parida’s house, the latter did not open the door for a long time. After repeatedly pressing the calling bell, he opened the door. However, he turned them away when they inquired about Ushashree. Suspicious, they lodged a complaint with the Nayapalli police. The police reached the IRC Village residence of Parida for inquiry and found a foul smell emanating from the house. They confirmed that Ushashree was murdered.
The remorseless doctor maintained that Ushashree had committed suicide by banging her head against the wall and then he had chopped her body for cremation at Shirdi in Maharashtra.