Sunanda cremated; post-mortem report in 2-3 days

A suspected case of drug overdose

Sunanda Pushkar cremated
Union minister Shashi Tharoor carries the mortal remains of Sunanda Pushkar (inset) for cremation in New Delhi on Saturday. (PTI)


New Delhi: A drug overdose could be a possible cause of the death of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, whose statement will be recorded on Monday by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM).

With doctors declaring her death in a five-star hotel yesterday as “sudden, unnatural” after the autopsy conducted on Saturday, the focus of investigations shifted to potential causes that led to the demise of 52-year-old Sunanda.

A three-member team of senior doctors at AIIMS, that conducted an autopsy on Sunanda’s body, has taken samples of viscera and body fluids to carry out various tests to ascertain the cause of her death. “The viscera samples include portions of her heart, lungs, liver, kidney, hair, portions of the skin that bore injury marks,” AIIMS spokesperson Amit Gupta told PTI.

While the final autopsy report will be available in “couple of days”, police sources said that it could be a case of drug overdose.

However, a final picture would emerge only after toxicological analysis and a complete visco-pathological examination.

Meanwhile, the mortal remains of Sunanda were consigned to flames here in presence of her family members.

Sunanda’s 21-year-old son Shiv Menon, accompanied by Tharoor, lit the pyre at the Lodhi Road crematorium which had turned into a spectacle with mourners and media persons in large numbers.

On the other hand, Alok Sharma, the SDM probing the sensational death, told PTI that statements of Sunanda’s son and brother had been recorded and also that of two servants of the Tharoors.

Asked when he would record Tharoor’s statement, he said he was initially planning to do so on Sunday but had been informed that the minister and the family were going to Haridwar. Therefore, it would be recorded on Monday, he said.

Sharma said his inquiry, under Section 176 of CrPC which covers death of a women married for less than seven years, was to find out whether there was any foul play in Sunanda’s death. Police would carry out their investigations.

The SDM has prepared a list of examinees, whose statements would also be recorded on Monday.

The police has questioned the hotel staff and checked the CCTV footage of the lobby of the third floor of the luxury hotel where Sunanda was staying. Sources in police said call details record of Sunanda was also being checked as part of the probe into her death.

Sunanda was found dead inside suite no 345 in Leela Palace hotel where she and her minister husband had checked in on Thursday.

Investigators said they are screening the call details record of Pushkar as well as her tweets in the last few days. They said a number of hotel staff, including those who had gone to the suite, were being questioned to corroborate the version of Tharoor and his staff.

The police had also searched the suite thoroughly to see whether Sunanda had used any medicine, they said, adding it was sealed later.

There were reports that the couple had initially booked two separate rooms in the hotel and later moved to the suite. The hotel staff is believed to have told police that the couple had heated arguments in the lobby. (PTI)

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