The children’s court in Goa on Friday, January 19, remanded 39-year-old Suchana Seth, the CEO of Bengaluru-based start-up Mindful AI Lab, to 13 days of judicial custody for allegedly murdering her four-year-old son. Suchana was arrested on January 9 in the Chitradurga district of Karnataka while she was heading to Bengaluru in a cab. Initially, she was sent to police custody for six days and it was later extended by five more days.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Vishwesh Karpe said, "She was presented in court on Friday. DNA, medical tests, and other things have been done. Hence, we did not require further police custody."
Suchana had checked into a rented service apartment at Candolim in North Goa with her son on January 6. After a two-day stay, she left for Bengaluru in a taxi. Concerns arose when staff at the apartment reported to the police that her son was not seen with her during her departure, and that blood stains were discovered in the apartment by the housekeeping staff. CCTV footage confirmed that Suchana entered the apartment with her son but left alone. The staff alerted the police who then contacted the taxi driver en route to Bengaluru. The driver was instructed to take Suchana to the nearest police station - Aimangala police station in Chitradurga district - without alerting her.
Suchana was arrested in Chitradurga and the police found her son’s body in a bag. According to media reports, Suchana denied killing the child, but she avoided addressing inquiries about the circumstances of his demise. She had reportedly told the police that she believed the child was sleeping. It was only when she attempted to wake him for their journey to Bengaluru that she discovered her son dead.
Dr Kumar Naik, a government doctor who conducted the post-mortem had said that the child was smothered to death. The police are now investigating the possibility that the child was sedated with a heavy dosage of cough syrup, as indicated by the autopsy report.
Suchana has been booked under various Sections of the Indian Penal Code including murder and destruction of evidence, and under Section 8 of the Goa Children’s Act.