NEW DELHI – In a sensational turn to the Sunanda Pushkar case, the Delhi Police Commissioner today said the late wife of Congress politician Shashi Tharoor was poisoned to death, sending shockwaves through the political circles of the national capital.
Police Commissioner BS Bassi said Sunanda was murdered and the poison was either taken orally or injected. Police have registered a murder case and are sending forensic samples abroad for testing, he said.
The police are not ruling out questioning Tharoor, Bassi said. A special team will be formed to question people relevant to the case.
"Needless to say I am anxious to see that this case is investigated thoroughly, and (I) assure the police my full cooperation,” Tharoor said in a statement he posted on his Facebook page.
"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 the members of Pushkar's family wanted 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 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 mysterious circumstances at a luxury hotel here Jan 17, 2014.
Congress leader Rashid Alvi questioned the delay in registering the case and said the police should investigate the matter honestly.
"I always say that law will take its own course, but why is the case being registered after a year? I think that the investigation should be done honestly. It is the responsibility of the police to complete the investigation," said Alvi.
"It is very surprising that after a year the police have registered this case under Section 302. There are so many questions that are arising. Why have they come to this conclusion now? This is the reason people are doubtful about their investigation," he added.
"The medical board gave us its report which stated that the death was unnatural and was due to poisoning. The report also speculated that the poison could have been administered orally or it could also have been injected," Bassi told the media.
According to reports, the medical board that carried out Pushkar's autopsy has stated that her death was unnatural. Pushkar, who married Tharoor in 2010, had checked into The Leela Hotel in Chanakyapuri a day before her death.
Tharoor's aides said the couple had checked into the luxury hotel because of renovation work at his Delhi bungalow.
Prior to her death, Sunanda was embroiled in a spat with Pakistan-based journalist, Mehr Tarar, whom she accused of stalking her husband.
"She died due to poisoning. Whether the poison was given orally or injected into her body is being investigated," he said, adding the report from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences was received Dec 29.
Congress’ Abhishek Manu Singhvi told NDTV: "Let us maintain a sense of balance, this is a complaint against persons unknown, not yet clear whether it’s suicide or murder. We must not sensationalize this, let us wait."
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy called Tharoor a liar and said “the more he opens his mouth the more trouble he is going to get into”.
Shashi Tharoor is a liar, the more he opens his mouth the more trouble he is going to get into: Subramanian Swamy pic.twitter.com/6ZvQZqQMok— ANI (@ANI_news) January 6, 2015
(With Inputs From Agencies)