Sunanda Pushkar found dead in Delhi, post mortem likely today

New Delhi: Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, was found dead in a five-star hotel room which police suspect may be a case of suicide.

Sunanda Pushkar and Shashi Tharoor. AFP

Sunanda Pushkar and Shashi Tharoor. AFP

The body of 52-year-old Pushkar, a woman entrepreneur who married Tharoor in August 2010, was found in the luxury Leela Palace hotel in South Delhi, top police sources said.

The Minister's private secretary Abhinav Kumar is said to have telephoned the police control room around 2100 hours after which personnel from Sarojini Nagar police station rushed to the hotel in a posh area of South Delhi.

Police sources speaking on condition of anonymity said they suspect it could be a case of suicide.

Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said inquest proceedings have been initiated by the sub-divisional magistrate of the area. Any death within seven years of marriage is legally required to be investigated by the sub-divisional magistrate.

Kumar told reporters at the hotel that Tharoor and Pushkar were staying in a suite since Thursday as some painting work was on at home. The Minister was away throughout the day at the AICC meet, he said.

When he came back around 8:30 pm, he found the door of her room inside the suite locked from the inside. She seemed to be sleeping in a normal way but later it was found she was dead.

Kumar said there was no sign of foul play but whether it was natural death or not cannot be said now.

"The cause of death and the time of death, we cannot say now," he said.

The minister was in the hotel late in the night when the police sealed suite no.345 on the third floor and police were making arrangements to take the body to AIIMS for a post mortem.

Forensic experts along with police were at the spot to examine the scene of occurrence.

Kumar said Pushkar was a little unwell on Thursday morning.

Pushkar and Tharoor were at the centre of a raging controversy in the last two days when reports emerged that she was upset over reported text and tweet messages between her husband and Mehr Tarar, a Pakistani journalist.

Late Thursday night, Pushkar had tweeted that the Pakistani journalist was "lying".

Tharoor was present at the day-long AICC session which ended around 5 pm.

This was the third marriage for both of them. She had a 21-year-old son, Shiv Menon, from her second marriage.

The couple, who were always in some sort of controversy or the other, reportedly fought over the alleged affair which came to light when Tharoor claimed his twitter handle was hacked.

He made the declaration after purported controversial tweets were posted from his accounts and were believed to be addressed to the Pakistan-based journalist.

Pushkar had told couple of newspapers that she was considering divorce from Tharoor in the wake of the alleged extra-marital affair. On her part, Mehr denied Pushkar's allegations of her stalking Tharoor or having an affair with him.

However, after the media carried the war of words Twitter following which the couple issued a statement on Thursday, claiming they were happily married.

Asked about the cause of death, Rajan Bhagat said there is no apparent sign which can reveal that.

On when the post mortem would be conducted, he said a decision on it will be taken under the supervision of the SDM doing the inquest proceedings.

Late in the night Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke to Tharoor and condoled Pushkar's death.

"I am deeply saddened at your loss. May God give you strength in this hour of grief", he told Tharoor.

Tarar, who has been at the centre of thecontroversy involving the Union Minister, today said she was "absolutely shocked" over Pushkar's death.

"I just woke up and read this. I'm absolutely shocked. This is too awful for words. So tragic I don't know what to say. Rest in peace, Sunanda," she tweeted.

PTI


Updated Date: Jan 18, 2014 07:20 AM

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