Tharoor denies links to Tarar, says Sunanda was a little disturbed

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 21, 2015 09:03 IST

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who was questioned for four hours by a special investigation team (SIT) on Monday night in connection with Sunanda Pushkar’s mysterious death, admitted before investigators that the couple had hit a rough patch in their marital life.

Tharoor denied having any proximity with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar. He, however, admitted that Sunanda was disturbed and depressed and they had had a couple of arguments over the same issue, police sources said.

On Tuesday morning, the SIT team led by Vivek Gogia, joint CP (southern range), and two DCPs of the south district met Delhi Police commissioner BS Bassi and discussed Tharoor’s answers. A detailed questionnaire prepared by the police had around 100 questions for him.

During the meeting, Bassi asked members of the SIT to take a call if their probe required a second round of questioning in the coming days. Bassi said some more people would be called as the investigation progresses.

According to police sources, the SIT team wants to question Tharoor on the 2010 IPL controversies surrounding him and his wife. Investigators said they will probe if the IPL angle was related to Sunanda’s death and if Tharoor had any connection with it.

Tharoor claimed ignorance about the IPL controversy. Some of Sunanda’s close friends, including a senior journalist, has said she was hiding some startling facts related to Tharoor’s links with IPL that she wanted to reveal to the media.

The Delhi Police chief said Tharoor was “cooperative”. Bassi said the SIT will analyse what Tharoor had told them and take further action.

On the IPL angle, he said: “Whatever has been said about IPL will be relevant and will definitely be asked about as the objective is to reach the truth.”

The IPL controversy broke out in early 2010 when Tharoor was minister of state for external affairs. There were allegations that he had “misused” his office to ensure that Rs 70 crore, which was equivalent to 19% equity in IPL Kochi franchise Rendezvous Sports, was paid to Sunanda.

Sunanda had refuted allegations of any wrongdoing. Referring to Monday’s questioning Bassi said, “We have spoken to him about the background. We have spoken to him about what happened on that day and certain things which have been reported otherwise in the media. They raise certain questions and we sought information on these issues.”

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