Members of the family of Sunanda Pushkar, reportedly a IPL Kochi stakeholder, expressed their indignation at media persons on Tuesday by abusing them and even pelting stones.
Pushkar’s father, retired army officer P.N. Dass, yelling at a Hindustan Times reporter and throwing stones, said: “Who are you, b****rd? Get out of my house or I will shoot you.”
Pushkar has landed herself in controversy after Indian Premier League (IPL) Commissioner Lalit Modi stated that she was a major stakeholder in cricket team IPL Kochi and that there was pressure on him from Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor not to reveal the shareholding pattern.
Dass’s wife was the first to come out of the 4,000 square foot house.
On being told that a media team had arrived, she said: “So you are from the media! Run away as he (Dass) already abused two media persons.”
According to family friends, Pushkar has a diploma in hotel management. She had served at the Centaur Hotel, Srinagar, in the 1980s.
“I was a regular visitor to the Centaur Hotel. On my last visit there in 1985 on seeing her working I couldn’t comprehend that a Kashmiri girl from Bomai, 60 km north of Srinagar, had such fine manners and could talk in highly sophisticated English,” a family friend said.
She (Pushkar) was active and she could make it big, said the family friend. “About three years ago, her husband had died and we went to her home to offer condolence,” he said.
Earlier in an off-the-record conversation with some journalists, Dass reportedly said, “My house in Bomai was set ablaze by terrorists. I am already ill and if my daughter is getting married again, why is the media after her?”
There is speculation in the media that Pushkar may marry Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor.
The Dass family was considered one of the most powerful and rich ones in the Bomai area before it migrated after the insurgency began in 1989, and had a large number of apple orchards. The family owned cars even in the early 1970s, a rarity in those days. Dass has two sons. One is serving as a colonel in the Army and other is in the private sector. Their neighbours say they had never seen Pushkar visiting her parents in the past 20 years.