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HindustanTimes Mon,20 Oct 2014

Crime branch refuses to take up Sunanda case

htreporters, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 26, 2014
First Published: 22:14 IST(26/1/2014) | Last Updated: 09:00 IST(27/1/2014)
Even as mystery continues to shroud the death of Union minister Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar, two units of Delhi police are reportedly fighting over the investigations into the case.

According to police, the crime branch of Delhi police has refused to initiate a probe into the case, almost three days after the entire investigation was transferred to them from the south district police. The probe has once again been sent back to the south district police.

The body of 52-year-old Pushkar was discovered by her husband in a south Delhi's luxury hotel suite on January 17. She was staying in the hotel with her husband as their government accommodation was being renovated.

The case was handed over first to a Sub-Divisional Magistrate as mandated by law since Tharoor was married to Pushkar for less than seven years. The SDM conducted an inquiry and submitted a report to South District police within a week.

On the basis of the post-mortem examination, which stated that Pushkar's death was caused by poisoning, the SDM suggested police should investigate the matter. The autopsy report also mentioned that there were more than a dozen injury marks on Pushkar's body, though these were not fatal.

A day after the probe was to be started by the district police, the investigation into the case was given to the crime branch. But officials have declined the probe, stating that there is nothing left in the case. A senior officer in the Crime Branch, who did not wish to be named, said the district police were trying to hand over the case when nothing much was left in it.

Another officer said the unit is short in staff these days and could not take more cases for investigation. "There are already several unsolved cases pending in the cold cases cell of the crime branch," said the officer. He also said that the decision to transfer the probe back to the south Delhi police was taken by top Delhi police officers.

Meanwhile, responding to the queries related to the probe, a senior south Delhi police officer said further investigation into the matter will be carried out by the Sarojini Nagar police as the incident had taken place in their jurisdiction. Some other teams will assist them in the investigations.

Pushkar was found dead amid rumours of her husband getting close to a Pakistan-based female journalist Mehr Tarar. A controversy broke out in the media when Pushkar tweeted on social media about her husband's relationship with the journalist. Pushkar and Tharoor married in 2010.


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