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Sunanda Pushkar was murdered: Delhi Police

PTI New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018

A file image os Sunanda Pushkar

Shashi Tharoor ‘stunned’ as Delhi police register murder case a year after death

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar, who was found dead in a hotel room here last year, had been murdered, Delhi police said on Tuesday.

A murder case has been registered and a special team formed to probe the case. The investigation will be overseen by Deputy Commissioner of Police Prem Nath.

Delhi police chief BS Bassi informed the media that medical analysis conducted by experts at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) concluded that Pushkar died an “unnatural death”.

“We have got the final medical report from AIIMS, and we have been told that it was an unnatural death. It was not a natural death,” Bassi said.

“She died due to poisoning. Whether the poison was given orally or injected into her body is being investigated,” he said, adding that the report from AIIMS was received on December 29.

Bassi said the quantum of poison given to Pushkar, who was 52 at the time of death, had not yet been ascertained. “For that we will send her viscera abroad.”

Asked why it took almost a year for the final medical report to come, he said the interim report spoke of poisoning but did not say it was an unnatural death. “Even overdose (of medicines) can be poisoning.”

Tharoor said he was “stunned” at the development. “I am stunned to hear that the Delhi police have filed a case of murder against unknown persons in the demise of my late wife Sunanda.

“Needless to say, I am anxious to see this case is investigated thoroughly and continue to assure the police of my full cooperation,” he said in a statement here.

Foul play

“Although we never thought of any foul play in the death of my wife, we all want that a comprehensive investigation be conducted and the unvarnished truth should come out,” he said.

He added that he and all members of Pushkar’s family want access to all the information on the basis of which Delhi police had concluded that she was poisoned to death.

“We have not been provided copies of the post-mortem report and other reports of the inquiry like the CFSL (Central Forensic Science Laboratory) report till date. We repeat our request for a copy of these reports to be provided to us immediately,” said Tharoor.

Pushkar was found dead in a luxury hotel on January 17, 2014, a day after she and Tharoor checked in because their house was reportedly getting painted. Tharoor was then the Minister of State for Human Resource Development in the UPA government.

Pushkar and Tharoor had married in September 2010. Both had been married twice earlier.

The first autopsy report, submitted to a magistrate on January 20 last year, had said that Pushkar died due to drug overdose. But it also reported a dozen injury marks on her body. The final autopsy report that came out in July put the number of injury marks at 15. All of them were caused by blunt forces except one that was an injection mark.

Later, Sudhir Kumar Gupta, who headed the AIIMS forensic team, alleged that he was pressured to show that Pushkar’s death was natural. AIIMS denied the allegation, and Gupta was removed from the post.

Joint statement

A day before she was found dead, Tharoor and Pushkar had issued a joint statement saying they were distressed by a row over some unauthorised tweets posted from their Twitter accounts and that both were “happily married and intend to remain that way”.

The statement claimed that distorted accounts of an affair between Tharoor and a Pakistani journalist had led to some erroneous conclusions.

Published on January 06, 2015

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