Bengaluru Mother Confesses to Murder, Tried Abandoning Child Once, Say Police

The four-year-old girl child who was thrown down from a fourth-floor balcony was previously abandoned on a train.

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(Trigger warning: Mentions of violence, suicide)

A day after a 34-year-old woman, Sushma Bharadwaj, was arrested for allegedly throwing her 4-year-old child from the fourth floor of an apartment complex, the Bengaluru Police learnt morbid details of a cycle of abuse that the child had allegedly endured before meeting her gruesome end.

The girl child, who had suffered fatal injuries in the fall, died on 5 August.

From neglect to abandonment, the child had faced it all, says the SR Nagar Police.

The police on 5 August procured CCTV footage of the mother throwing the child down from the balcony of her apartment. In the purported video, the mother is seen looking down from the balcony after the act. She is also seen climbing onto the balcony railing, in what is now believed to be an attempt at suicide. She was rescued by the neighbours.


'Left on a Train, Family Didn't Report Neglect'

According to the police, the child's father Kiran Balakrishna, 38, stated that he was aware that his wife had made an unsuccessful attempt to "get rid" of the child, a month before she allegedly murdered her. According to Balakrishna's statement to the SR Nagar Police, the mother abandoned the child on a long-distance train in July.

"According to the father, Sushma took the child to KSR Railway Station (Majestic) and put her on a train. The father says he got to know of this and got the child back with the help of a child rights NGO. The child was rescued when the train reached Yelahanka station," a police officer told The Quint.

Balakrishna, however, did not report the incident to the police because it was apparent that his wife was not "able to handle the child." As per the child protection laws of the country, if the incidents of neglect and abandonment had been reported to the police, the child could have been taken into the state's care and placed in a rescue home.

The husband also stated that it was his mother who mainly cared for the child. "The child's grandmother, Kiran's mother, used to live with the couple till recently. She used to care for the child. But later, the grandmother left to live in a rented apartment," a police officer said.

Though Bharadwaj is a dentist, she had stopped practising medicine after childbirth, the police said. Balakrishna is a software engineer.


Mother Confessed to Murder, Say Police

R Rajesh, Investigating Officer, said, "The mother has confessed to having thrown the child down." Rajesh refused to comment on the mental state of the mother.

A police official elaborated further, "The mother told us that she was not able to handle the child who was mentally challenged. As the child could also not speak, the mother felt doubly burdened."

According to the police, Sushma Bharadwaj wanted to kill the child first and end her own life. "She did not have the courage to kill herself, hence she called for help," the police officer said, quoting the confession statement.

The police, however, have not done a psychiatric evaluation of the mother to check whether she was mentally ill. "Prima facie, there is no such indication. But we are open to a psychiatric evaluation. Now she is in judicial custody," the police officer said. The police are also probing whether the suicide attempt was staged.

What's troubling in the case is that the mother has not shown any remorse, the police added. "She has shown utter lack of remorse. She plainly stated that she killed the child," the officer said.

The Quint contacted a psychiatrist at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), who spoke on the condition of anonymity as a psychiatric evaluation cannot be made without examining the patient, "The lack of remorse may indicate two things. Lack of empathy could indicate psychopathic tendencies. It could also indicate that the mother is still in psychosis."

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Topics:  Mental Health 

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