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HindustanTimes Sat,26 Jul 2014

Sunanda case: Cops to probe suicide, murder angles

Jatin Anand and Karn Pratap Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 21, 2014
First Published: 20:56 IST(21/1/2014) | Last Updated: 13:08 IST(22/1/2014)

The Delhi Police has been instructed by the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) probing Sunanda Pushkar’s death to specifically investigate and establish whether her ‘death due to poisoning’ was ‘deliberate or accidental’.

Sources said that the Delhi Police is likely to soon confront Union minister Shashi Tharoor with his employees’ version of events leading to Pushkar’s death and question him about a ‘minor injury’ on his wife’s cheek and possible domestic assault.

Read: Tharoor records statement, narrates events prior to Sunanda's death

The Delhi police will also try to pinpoint the source of the ‘highly concentrated’ dose of a prescription anti-depressant in her stomach, sources said.

“We are yet to see the exact report of Pushkar’s autopsy which was conducted at AIIMS, but have, so far, gathered a series of emails exchanged between Tharoor and Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar,” said a police official.

On January 18, HT had reported on how, a day after she was found dead, the police had attributed her death to ‘self-imposed starvation and an overdose of a common prescription drug’ in reaction to marital discord.

Read: Mehr Tarar says she is a victim of conspiracy

Pushkar’s body was found in a suite at south Delhi’s Leela Palace hotel last Friday.

The hotel staff allegedly told the police that Pushkar was surviving on coconut water during her stay there in addition to more than a dozen tablets anti-depressants. Two packets of Alprazolam or Alprax were recovered from her purse.

“The report mentions the presence of around 15 gms of undigested Alprax residue in Sunanda’s stomach,” another officer said. “We will focus on how she managed to get a hold of these, whether she had a prescription or not and whether she consumed such a quantity of her own volition or otherwise,” the officer added.

Tharoor-Sunanda story: Making and unmaking of a power couple

The post-mortem report submitted to SDM Alok Sharma, police sources said, mentioned over a dozen injury marks on both Sunanda’s hands and arms in addition to a minor bruise on her left cheek due to the seeming use of ‘blunt force’. None of these, however, according to the post-mortem report, were or could be fatal in nature.

Microblogging website Twitter, on which the alleged affair between Tharoor and Tarar exploded recently, has also been contacted to share possible ‘direct messages’ exchanged between them, police sources said.

Read: Sunanda Pushkar died an unnatural sudden death, say AIIMS docs

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