Crime branch to probe Sunanda Pushkar’s death

  • File photo: Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar. (HT Photo/Manoj Verma)

  • File photo: Union minister Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar in Tharoor's ancestral home at Kerala. (Agencies)

  • File photo: Union minister Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar on their wedding at his ancestral home in Elavanchery in Kerala. (PTI)

  • File photo: Shashi Tharoor with wife Sunanda Pushkar at the Delhi’s Most Stylish People’s Choice Awards 2013 in Gurgaon. (Rajesh Kashyap/ HT Photo)

  • File photo: Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar pose before a board near Pushkar, Rajasthan. (Deepak Sharma/ HT Photo)

  • File photo: Union minister Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar on their wedding at his ancestral home in Palakkad district of Kerala. (PTI)

  • File photo: Union minister Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar on their wedding at his ancestral home in Elavanchery in Kerala. (PTI)

  • Sunanda Pushkar was found dead on January 17 last year at a seven-star hotel in Delhi . (PTI File photo)

  • File photo: Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar at a friendly cricket match between Ficci and ministry of external affairs in New Delhi. (HT Photo)

  • File photo: Union minister Shashi Tharoor performs a puja with Sunanda Pushkar at the Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra. (PTI)

The mysterious death of Union HRD Minister Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar will now be probed by the crime branch, the Delhi Police declared on Thursday.

Sunanda Pushkar’s death is the third high-profile case to be referred to the specialised crime branch for investigation over the last year from the southeast range -- which is being viewed as a worrying sign for the local police.

The other cases include the Ponty Chadha murder case, the death of NRI Anmol Sarna and the alleged involvement of two police constables in setting ablaze an auto-rickshaw driver’s father when refused a bribe.

Meanwhile, police sources said they had not been able to recover footage from CCTV cameras installed on the hotel floor on which Pushkar was staying, prior to the discovery of her body in room number 345 last Friday evening.

Read: Was Sunanda poisoned over a period of time?

"The only footage we have is of her from CCTV cameras installed in the lobby of Leela Palace hotel," admitted an officer. "We have no other footage of her and have asked the hotel management to help us provide it," the officer said.

Senior police officials privy to the investigation said they were mulling questioning ‘several people’ whose names and contact details had figured on Pushkar’s contact list prior to her death.

Read: Sunanda's son rules out his mother's suicide

Pushkar is understood to have talked to more than three dozen people prior to her death on Friday; police sources said this was imperative to piecing together a plausible series of events leading to her death.

"Many of these persons were industrialists, others were journalists from her friend circle whom she is expected to have told about her uncomfortable mental condition in the wake of her husband’s alleged affair with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar," an officer said.

Read: Cops to probe suicide, murder angles

Police sources said they would meet officials from the south district to exchange notes on the investigation so far on Friday - precisely a week since her body was recovered.

 

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