New Delhi | A Special Investigation Team has begun its probe into the mysterious death of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar even as Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi today said there are prima facie reasons to believe it is a case of murder.
Bassi said the SIT has finalised an action plan to investigate the case and did not rule out questioning Tharoor soon, saying whatever necessary will be done to solve the case. When we file a case under Sec 302 of IPC, it means we have prima facie reasons to believe that it is a case of murder, Bassi told reporters on being asked whether police have any evidence that it was a case of murder.
Asked why the murder case was registered almost a year after Sunanda’s death, Bassi said the final medical report from AIIMS warranted filing of the FIR so that Sunanda’s viscera samples can be sent abroad for further tests. We have formed an SIT to probe the case. The SIT has formed an action plan to go about the case and everything will be done as per it, he said.
Delhi Police had yesterday registered a murder case into Sunanda’s death under section 302 of the IPC on the basis of an AIIMS medical report that concluded that her death was unnatural and due to poisoning, but nobody has been named as a suspect as yet. The FIR was filed against unknown persons. The investigators have decided to send her viscera samples to a laboratory either in Britain or the US to identify the poison including whether it could be radioactive isotopes that cannot be detected in Indian labs.
Sources said the SIT is likely to question Tharoor, his relatives and personal staff along with the employees of the five-star hotel where she was found dead on January 17 last year.
A senior official said a Delhi Police team had visited a hospital in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala on December 2 last year where Sunanda was admitted days before she was found dead. The team met the doctors who had treated Pushkar and questioned them about the ailment she was admitted there for and asked them to share her medical records, said a senior police official.
Pushkar was admitted to Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences in Thiruvananthapuram last year between 12th-14th January 2014. She was found dead in the five-star hotel in Delhi three days later. Her family had said that she was suffering from lupus and was taking heavy medication.
However, AIIMS doctors said that she was not suffering from lupus and that she was a healthy individual. The AIIMS medical board had, in its second report submitted to police on September 30, said that her brain, kidney, lungs and liver were functioning normally and that her death was caused by poisoning. The 12-page Subsequent Medical Board Opinion had said, The cause of death in this case is poisoning.
Viscera are positive for ethyl alcohol, caffeine, acetaminophen and cotinine. From the medical documents made available to them the panel has also concluded that Sunanda did not have cardiac problem. She was not suffering from any diseases like hypertension, diabetes or tuberculosis. The panel has concluded that Sunanda was neither ill nor had any disease prior to her death. She was a normal healthy individual, the AIIMS report given to Delhi Police in September said.
The medical board had examined all the injuries on her body out of which ‘injury number 10′ was termed as a mark caused by the needle of a syringe. The team has also dismissed the theory that Sunanda died of an overdose of Alprazolam as the viscera report is negative for the presence of the substance.
None of the treatment documents of Sunanda Pushkar has mentioned prescription of Tablet Alprax which was found at the scene of death. Two used Alprax strips of capacity 15 tablets each were recovered from the spot. However viscera report is negative for presence of Alprazolam, the report said.
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