Sunanda Pushkar death case transferred to crime branch

New Delhi


Delhi Police's Crime Branch is to investigate the mysterious death of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of union minister Shashi Tharoor, and would question him and other family members as well as hotel staff, a police official said Thursday.

Six days after Pushkar was found dead under mysterious circumstances in her room at the Leela Palace hotel in Sarojini Nagar area of south Delhi, the case was finally handed over to Crime Branch Thursday.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Ravindra Yadav, told IANS that Pushkar's case was handed over to his department Thursday.

"We will look after the matter from the beginning as earlier it was being handled by local police," he said.

Another crime branch official said that they would first get the probe report from the local police and then "we will take our next step".

"Shashi Tharoor, his family members, the hotel staff and the relatives of Sunanda will be questioned if we find it necessary," he said.

The autopsy report of Pushkar has attributed her death to poisoning due to drug overdose. Sources termed the injury marks on her body as "scuffle marks" and as minor injuries.

Her "upper extremity" - hand, an arm, chin, and neck - was dotted with over a dozen injury marks, and these were termed "scuffle marks".

However, the scuffle marks may impact the investigation as Delhi Police was directed by the sub-divisional magistrate to probe whether the death was a suicide or a murder.

Police meanwhile urged the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) to speed up on Pushkar's viscera report, which might have clues to the reason for her death.

NCP leader D.P. Tripathi had Wednesday demanded that Tharoor must quit till the investigation is over. Tharoor has been named a party spokesperson.

However, the Congress has rejected any such remark, saying there was no question of resignation.

Congress spokesperson Randip Surjewala, at a party briefing had said: "Tharoor is in a responsible ministerial position. He is also an inseparable part of Congress. There is no question of his resignation".

Pushkar's son from her second marriage, Shiv Menon had Tuesday issued a statement, denying any possible role of Shashi Tharoor in his mother's death.

"Do not believe that Shashi was capable of harming her, let alone the speculation that he could have taken her life."

Pushkar was found dead just a couple of days after an open spat on Twitter that threw spotlight on the couple's personal life and Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar. - IANS