After two years of investigation and multiple forensic examinations in India and abroad, the Sunanda Pushkar murder case has reach a point where police are still unclear about the poisonous substance that claimed her life.
The special investigation team (SIT) constituted to probe the high-profile murder case is now analysing AIIMS’s latest findings and the FBI’s lab report for clues that could help them unravel the mystery.
They are planning to send back some parts of the AIIMS report that they have failed to understand for clarification. If this happens, the murder probe will be delayed by almost two or three more months, police sources said.
On Friday, Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi claimed that they had received a report from AIIMS on the FBI’s finding on the viscera samples of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.
Citing FBI’s report and the AIIMS findings, Bassi confirmed that Sunanda’s death was unnatural, but at same time stated that there was no clarity on the poisonous substance that killed her or the exact cause of her death.
A senior Delhi police officer privy to the probe said that the 11-page AIIMS report annexed with 32 more pages contains a detailed report on the US agency’s conclusions on Sunanda’s body samples sent to them in February 2015. Sources said that the FBI lab report mentioned traces of Alprax (or alprazolam), Lidocaine and various other chemical substances. However, the FBI did not give any opinion on the exact cause of Sunanda’s death.
“As the FBI report was inconclusive, we sent it to AIIMS forensic experts to compare it with AIIMS’s own autopsy report to ascertain if any of the chemical elements highlighted by the FBI proved fatal for Sunanda. The objective was to get some clarity from where we can proceed in the case and justify the murder charges,” said the officer.
But the AIIMS finding, the officer said, confused investigators further as it contained technical points they did not understand. Also, the report did not give any definite opinion of the exact cause of her death.
“The SIT members have been asked to thoroughly study AIIMS findings and make a list of those points that are crucial but they have failed to decode. The list along with the report will be sent back to AIIMS for further clarity. Any progress towards proving the murder charges could be made only when we are sure about the exact cause of death,” the officer said.
Earlier in the day, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in his tweets accused Bassi of not telling the media that the FBI found the presence of heart arrest injectable poison Lidocaine in Sunanda’s body. Swamy claimed he will file a PIL in Sunanda murder case after January 17.
Asked if Lidocaine was injected in Sunanda’s body to kill her, the investigating officer said, “We have evidence to prove that Lidocaine gel was used on Sunanda when she underwent non-surgical procedures, endoscopy, at a hospital in Kerala where she was admitted for an executive check-up from January 12 to 14, 2014. It was used to relieve pain.”