Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar questioned for three hours in Sunanda Pushkar case


Mehr Tarar, the Pakistani columnist who sparred on Twitter with Congress politician Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar days before she was found dead in a hotel suite in 2014, was questioned by the Delhi police earlier this year.

Sunanda Pushkar-AV
Tarar’s questioning took place in February at a place of her choice — a prominent hotel in New Delhi. She was questioned by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case in the presence of women police personnel, sources said on Monday.

Summons could not be issued to Tarar as she is a Pakistani national but she had earlier stated that she was open to joining investigation into the matter and had also written to a senior official communicating the same.

51-year-old Sunanda was found dead at a suite in a five-star hotel in South Delhi on the night of January 17, 2014, a day after her spat with Tarar on Twitter over her alleged affair with Tharoor, the Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.

Sources say Ms Tarar also denied exchanging any intimate emails or messages with Mr Tharoor, a Congress parliamentarian from Kerala and a former minister.

A witness close to Ms. Pushkar had said that she had asked her to help retrieve messages that she suspected Mr. Tharoor had deleted from his mobile phone.

Joint Commissioner of Police (South Eastern Range) R.P. Upadhyay confirmed that Ms. Tarar, with whom Ms. Pushkar had a spat on twitter days before her death, was questioned. He, however, refused to divulge further details.

Mr. Upadhyay said Ms. Tarar was told to join the investigation and she was asked to reply to a questionnaire prepared by the investigators.

She had written to then Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi, expressing her willingness to come to Delhi and get examined. The questioning took place at a hotel in the city.

Sources said the members of the Special Investigating Team asked her about the allegations made by Ms. Pushkar prior to her death — that the journalist was romantically involved with Mr. Tharoor. She is learnt to have refuted these claims.