Bhubaneswar: A court awarded life imprisonment on February 25 to a 78-year-old retired Army doctor for murdering his wife, chopping the body into 300 pieces in Bhubaneswar in 2013.

Khurda District and Sessions Court judge Lokanath Mohapatra sentenced Somnath Parida after convicting him for the murder, government pleader RR Barhma said.

Parida's conviction was based on circumstantial evidence as there were no eyewitnesses.

He had killed his 62-year-old wife Ushashree Parida on June 3, 2013.

He was arrested by Nayapally Police on June 21.

The government pleader said the incident of murder came to light after almost a fortnight of it happening, after the victim's daughter, who stays abroad, raised suspicion because she failed to reach her mother over the phone.

Though she insisted that she talk to her mother, her father did not give her the phone.

The daughter later sent a relative to the house in IRC village area to enquire.

The relative, in turn, informed the police after suspecting that the woman could have been murdered.

Later the police found the body, chopped into 300 pieces, and kept in separate steel containers.

The police had also seized a chopper, a knife and two cutters from the spot.

"I am innocent and did not kill my wife," the accused said outside the court while being taken to judicial custody.