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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Not happy with the speed of probe into Sunanda’s death, says Tharoor

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 23, 2014
First Published: 18:21 IST(23/2/2014) | Last Updated: 18:24 IST(23/2/2014)

Union minister Shashi Tharoor on Sunday said he wasn’t happy with the speed of the probe into his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death. Pushkar, 52, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a south Delhi luxury hotel on January 17.

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“It was excruciatingly painful to lose my wife. The abrupt tragedy has taken a toll on my life. People have used my personal loss for political gains. We haven’t been allowed to grieve in peace,” Tharoor said in an interview with television news channel Headlines Today.

Tharoor said all allegations targeting him after Pushkar’s death were baseless and could be refuted immediately. “There is nothing I need to worry about. I have cooperated fully in the probe. Sunanda’s death was obviously a health-related tragedy… Sunanda’s family has been very supportive.”

Pushkar was found dead in bed in her suite on January 17, two days after she went public on Twitter with accusations of a "rip-roaring affair" between her husband and a Pakistani journalist, Mehr Tarar.

Though a sub-divisional magistrate had asked the police to probe murder and suicide angles, Pushkar’s son Shiv Menon said she was "too strong" to commit suicide. Tharoor and his mother were "very much in love" and he didn’t believe that the minister was capable of harming her, the 21-year-old had said in a statement.

Reacting over Subramaniam Swamy’s claims that Pushkar was murdered, Tharoor said, “Swamy should immediately give evidence pointing to murder, if he has any. The nation stopped taking him seriously long back.”

On being asked about the police probe into his wife’s death, the Union minister said, “The police have been at it for five weeks… I am not happy with the time they are taking to complete the probe. I respect the process but it increasingly becoming clear that it should not take this long (for the probe to conclude).”

Tharoor said the weeks after Pushkar’s death were tough for him. “I broke down. We were a happy couple. I miss her (Pushkar) every single day. All the speculations after her death were unwarranted,” he said.

“Before she died, we were in a good place. Her tweets are in public domain for everyone to see. All friends and family members have been supportive of me and the others,” he added.

“A month today since Sunanda left us. Thanks to all whose condolences & prayers have supported us in our pain & given us strength 2 bear our loss (sic),” Tharoor had tweeted on January 17.

The Union minister said he wasn’t happy about how his personal life became public after a Twitter slanging war broke out between his wife and a Pakistan journalist Mehr Tarar. “I am a private person. I am not happy about the things that went out in the public domain. But what has happened has happened. Sunanda was a very expressive person,” Tharoor said.

To a question about his role in the upcoming elections, Tharoor replied, “It depends on the party. The allies have to be considered too. I will contest if I am offered.”

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