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The mystery surrounding the death of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Union minister Shashi Tharoor, deepened on Saturday as the viscera report concluded that there was no sign of poison in her body.
This may take the police probe back to square one as investigators were looking into the poison angle since both the post-mortem and sub-divisional magistrate’s (SDM) reports had pointed to this.
The 52-year-old socialite and businesswoman was found dead in her suite in a luxury hotel in Delhi on January 17, days after a very public Twitter row with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar, whom she accused of having an affair with her husband.
“Sunanda’s viscera report reveals there was no poison in her body and that she could have died possibly from an overdose of medicines,” a police officer associated with the investigation said. The report, from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory, was made available to the south Delhi police on Friday, sources said.
In a bind, investigators have now decided to get the opinion of a panel of doctors from AIIMS who had conducted the autopsy. “We will request the doctors to corroborate the viscera report with her autopsy report to ascertain the exact cause of death,” said the officer, adding that the SDM has also been informed of the latest development.
Efforts to get in touch with panel members of AIIMS’ forensic dept went unanswered.
The autopsy had ruled that Sunanda had died an unnatural death due to poisoning and left it to the investigators to decide if it was suicide or murder. It had mentioned several external injury marks on her body, likely caused by a scuffle, and found traces of the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam, but not enough to kill.
Subsequently, the SDM had conducted a probe and in his report pointed out the possibility of death due to poisoning.
The police probe revealed Sunanda was suffering from depression and that the Tharoors had frequent arguments, witnessed by several people. The police had also questioned Tharoor. Last month, the Delhi Police had said they were certain Sunanda’s death was “purely accidental”.