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Sunanda Pushkar: Open and shut case

Once again Sunanda Pushkar’s death has grabbed headlines. Nobody knows the exact reason of her death but giving their own speculations and logics on it. Sometimes I feel that, this issue became election gimmick against Congress Party. Many investigation and interrogations had been done. The investigation team was setup to find out the reason behind her death. Every time police investigation comes out with different theories. However, they are still at large to grab a culprit. Recently, Tharoor had once again gone through tough question answer session. I think, this murder investigation should go in right direction without any political intervention.

Sunanda Tharoor, wife of the-then Union minister Shashi Tharoor, was found dead in suite 345 of south Delhi’s Leela hotel on January 17 last year. Her body was reportedly found by Tharoor around 8pm, when he returned to the hotel after attending a meeting of the All India Congress Committee. Earlier, in a statement to investigators after wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor had said that the couple had “some misunderstanding” which was cleared. He also revealed that his wife was “a very happy personality” but was very ill after two surgeries. She was dependent on Alprax tablets to sleep. Days before her death, Pushkar, had been admitted to a hospital in Kerala for suspected lupus. She was discharged on January 14, 2014, after which they came to Delhi. Earlier this month, the police registered a murder case against unknown persons, saying that Ms Pushkar died of poisoning – either given orally or injected. Earlier this month, a murder investigation was launched against “unknown persons” by the police. In recent days, the police have questioned several people who were close to the couple; their domestic help, Narain Singh, was also interrogated for the third time.

Earlier ,the head of the forensics department at All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has stirred the hornet’s nest by claiming that he was pressured into giving a tailor-made report in the Sunanda Tharoor death case. Dr. Sudhir Gupta, who headed the team of forensic experts that conducted the postmortem, has written to the health ministry and the chief vigilance commission complaining that he was pressured by top officials to show it as a “natural death”. Gupta has claimed that he is now being targeted because he did not bow down to the pressure and gave a report stating that Sunanda’s death was caused by drug poisoning that could be both suicidal and homicidal.

Her death came within 48 hours of her going public about her husband’s alleged affair with a Pakistani journalist, raising suspicions of suicide, although no note has been found. The tragic end came even as Twitter was buzzing about the public display of anger, betrayal and accusations involving Tharoor, Sunanda and Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar. There were also reports of Sunanda talking of divorce. She then rocked social media constantly for two long days and finally was found dead. Every senior journalist is claiming that she gave them a call before the tragedy, she wanted to expose her hubby, but none of these journalists on humanitarian grounds went to solace her knowing the level of her depression.

There was a tragedy in Tharoor’s life. However, there is no evidence against him as his aide tries to clear any possible doubts people may have about Sunanda Pushkar’s death. Many opposition leaders then claimed that the sudden death of Sunanda, seems to be a case of pre-planned murder. The injury marks on her body, and the way this case unfolded, it seemed to be a well-planned murder. There was no case registered against Shashi Tharoor under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act. However, Tharoor has filed a complaint with the central administrative tribunal in this regard. After few hours of Subramanian Swamy’s allegation, then Union Health Minister Harshvardhan asked the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to provide detailed report on allegations that the head of forensics department was forced to change the autopsy report of Sunanda Pushkar. How Subramanian Swamy knows the secrets more than a common man of this country?

Some even speculate that Sunanda was murdered after she revealed connections of Shashi Tharoor with an ISI agent. May be she knew more than that, but why Intelligence Bureau failed to find out what happened. This case has to be thoroughly investigated. It also reminds us that Delhi has become famous or infamous for forensic manipulations after the Talwar incident. Government should trace the phone calls of Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda and this case should be transferred to CBI. It’s a critical issue related to National Security. The report sheds no light over the issue. The panel has also listed a number of poisons, most of which are radioactive chemicals which cannot be detected during forensic tests in Indian labs which include thallium, polonium 210, Nerium Oleander, snake venom, photolabile poisons and heroin. From the medical document made available to them the panel has also concluded that Pushkar did not have cardiac problem. She was not suffering from any diseases like Hypertension, Diabetes and Tuberculosis. Anyway, time and again, these issues were discussed. It’s high time investigation authorities should probe in the right direction and come to some conclusion.

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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