As the Delhi police registered a case of murder in Sunanda Pushkar’s death, her husband Shashi Tharoor, a former union minister and Congress MP, may be asked to join investigations soon.The Delhi police, which almost took a year before registering the case on Monday claimed that the latest medical report from AIIMS states that it was an ‘unnatural death due to poisoning.’ Until now, the police were focusing on the suicide theory in the wake of the couple’s strained relationship.Delhi police commissioner B S Bassi told reporters that, “the latest medical report from AIIMS states that it was not a natural death. She died due to poisoning. Whether the poison was given orally or injected into her body is being investigated.” The police received the AIIMS report on December 29 and would send her viscera abroad for further examination.The report once again brings to focus ‘injury number 10 — an unexplained injection mark’ found on the right wrist of Sunanda. dna was the first to report about the mysterious injury in February last year.Normally, in the case of unnatural death within seven years of marriage, the husband is arrested on dowry demand ground. “However, dowry case can’t be invoked in the case of Tharoor as no one has filed such a complaint. So, he cannot be arrested on this ground as of now,” senior Supreme Court lawyer Kamini Jaiswal told dna.However, family members of Pushkar in Jammu reiterated the allegation that Tharoor could be involved in the murder. “We already knew it wasn’t a natural death. We have been asking for a CBI probe. It was all planned. Why would Tharoor go for a meeting when she wasn’t feeling well? Even cameras weren’t working in such a big hotel,” Ashok Kumar, maternal cousin of Pushkar, told dna over phone from Jammu.He further stated he was amazed “why Pushkar’s immediate brother Rajesh was not raising the issue?”The needle of suspicion, thus, continues to hang on Tharoor’s head, as alleged by senior BJP leader Subramanyam Swami, who, from the day of the incident, has been saying that it’s a murder case.”It was not even an ordinary murder. She was capable of hurting reputations of persons at very higher places. She could have exposed the whole illegal mess in IPL,” Swami had said. While the police are yet to detail the kind of poisoning, many believe that ‘air embolism could have resulted in her death.’ In this process, an air bubble may have been injected into her vein, which could prove fatal if ‘more than 100 ml of air is injected into the venous system at rates greater than 100 ml/s.’Sunanda, 52, was found dead in her room at a five-star hotel in south Delhi on January 17, 2014. Tharoor was then minister of state for human resource development in UPA-II government. Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi named Tharoor as one of the ambassadors of ‘Clean India Campaign.’Meanwhile, Tharoor, in a statement, said that he was stunned to find out that his wife was poisoned and a case of murder was registered.”Needless to say, I am anxious to see that this case is investigated thoroughly and assure the police my full cooperation. Although we never thought of any foul play in the death of my wife, we all want a comprehensive investigation and unvarnished truth should come out,” he said.He added that he and all members of Pushkar’s family wanted access to all the information on the basis of which the Delhi police had concluded that she was poisoned to death.”We have not been provided copies of the post-mortem report and other reports of the inquiry like the CFSL report till date. We repeat our request for a copy of these reports to be provided to us immediately,” said Tharoor.Earlier in October, the Delhi police had stated that the forensic report from AIIMS claiming that Pushkar died of poisoning was ‘not conclusive’ and investigations would continue.The first autopsy report, submitted to the sub-divisional magistrate in January had stated that Pushkar had died of ‘drug overdose.’ The report also said that a mild, foul-smelling gas emanated from her body during dissection. Sunanda’s body had 15 injuries, caused in 12 hours before her death. Injury number 12 was caused by a teeth bite.Dr Sudhir Kumar Gupta, who was the head of the forensic team that conducted the post-mortem, had also alleged that he was under pressure to show that Pushkar’s death was “natural.” The allegation was denied by AIIMS. At that time, Gupta was the head of AIIMS forensic department. He was removed from the post later.
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