Sunanda Pushkar death: FBI lab report rules out 'radioactive poisoning'

US agency said that the wife of former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, did not die because of poisoning by polonium or any other radioactive substance

New Delhi: Radiation levels in Sunanda Pushkar's viscera samples were “within the standard safety norms”, Delhi Police said yesterday sharing the findings of an FBI report that rules out the theory of ‘polonium poisoning’ having caused her death.

Sunanda was found dead inside her suite at a five-star hotel in Delhi on January 17 last year
Sunanda was found dead inside her suite at a five-star hotel in Delhi on January 17 last year

Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi said the report from Washington DC-based laboratory would soon be handed over to a medical board for examination before further action is taken in the high-profile case.

Lie detector test
Meanwhile, sources in police said the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case is likely to summon Pushkar’s husband and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor for questioning once again. They are also likely to seek court’s permission to conduct a polygraph (lie detector) test on the senior former Union minister.

CP speaks
“I understand that the report has been received. The FBI lab had conducted analysis of various substances. And this should give an indication once the doctors go through the report,” Bassi said.

Asked about the radiation levels in the samples, the Delhi Police Commissioner said that it was “within the standard safety norms”. According to sources, the eight-page FBI report, received around nine months after the samples were sent, has named the alleged poison that led to Sunanda’s death two years ago.

AIIMS speak
The viscera samples were sent to the FBI lab after an AIIMS medical board identified poisoning as the reason behind her death but did not mention any specific substance.

AIIMS forensic head Sudhir Gupta stuck to his opinion that poisoning was the cause of death. He said, “There are findings that confirm that the death was due to poisoning. We concluded by eliminating the other causes of her death.

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