Sunanda Pushkar murder case: Tharoor quizzed by Delhi police

New Delhi: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor was tonight questioned by police in connection with his wife Pushkar's mysterious death, nearly three weeks after a case of murder was registered on the basis of a medical report that concluded that she died of poisoning.

Shashi Tharoor
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor leaves his residence for Vasant Vihar police campus in South Delhi on Monday for being questioned in connection of Sunanda Pushkar's mysterious death. Pic/PTI

This is for the first time Tharoor has been questioned on death of 52-year-old Sunanda. She was found dead at a luxury hotel on January 17 last year. The former union minister has been questioned by the Special Investigation team led by Additional DCP (South) PS Kushwah.

Tharoor reached the office of Anti Auto Theft Squad (AATS) in South Delhi at around 8 PM where he was questioned by a
five-member SIT team. Tharoor was issued a notice by SIT to join investigation. The Congress MP had a meeting with his lawyers at his residence in Lodhi Estate before proceeding to SIT's temporary office which has been heavily barricaded to keep a waiting media at bay.

Sources said Tharoor will be questioned about the happenings of January 17, 2014 when Sunanda was found dead. He would also be questioned about the circumstances in which Sunanda had left him at the airport after returning from Thiruvananthapuram to Delhi on January 15 and checked in at Leela Hotel.

Specific questions will also be asked about the reported tiff he had with Sunanda over his alleged affair with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar. The sources said Tharoor would also be also questioned about her medical condition and whether she suffered from  any disease.

Sunanda was found dead in her suite at Leela Palace hotel on January 17 last year, a day after she was involved in a spat with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar on micro-blogging website twitter over the latter's alleged affair with Tharoor.  Some of those questioned in the case so far include Tharoor's domestic help Narayan Singh, family friend Sanjay Dewan, the hotel doctor who pronounced her dead and hotel staff including its manager.

Sources said that police will also question in a day or two a woman journalist with whom Sunanda had spoken before her death and Tharoor's PS Abhinav Kumar who had informed the then SHO of Sarojini Nagar police station about the death.

Police had filed a case of murder under section 302 of the IPC on January 1. The SIT will send Sunanda's viscera samples to a lab in the US or the UK to determine the nature and quantity of the poison which caused her death, police said. Delhi Police Commissioner B S bassi said the process to send her viscera samples to a lab abroad is on.

When reporters asked Bassi about BJP leader Subramanian Swamy's tweet alleging that Tharoor wrote to an investigating officer in the case in December, the police chief saw nothing wrong with it, saying anybody can write a letter to them.

"So if anything is being said by Mr Tharoor, as said by you, if it would be relevant, it would be part of our investigation and if it is not relevant, it won't be part of investigation," said Bassi while adding that the police have not replied to any of Tharoor's letters.

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