Evidence of drug overdose in Sunanda Pushkar's body

Jan 20, 2014, 11:14 IST | Agencies

There was no trace of alcohol in the body of Sunanda Pushkar though some evidence of presence of anti-depressant drug was likely, AIIMS sources said today

New Delhi: A three-member board of doctors at the AIIMS, who performed the postmortem on Union Minister Shashi Tharoor's wife, Sunanda Pushkar, yesterday, had said the death was "sudden and unnatural".

AIIMS sources today said the doctors have not found any trace of alcohol in the body. But presence of Alprazolam, which belongs to a group of psychoactive drugs used as sedatives, cannot be ruled out. Investigators had recovered an empty strip of Alprax from the hotel room.

Sources said SDM Alok Sharma has so far recorded statements of eight persons, including family members of Sunanda's husband and Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, his staff and journalist Nalini Singh. The SDM is examining the statements to corroborate the sequence of events, the sources said.

Sunanda Pushkar
Sunanda Pushkar. File pic-Satyajit Desai

They said the SDM asked Tharoor on his reported relationship with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar and the controversy surrounding it. The SDM is also examining phone records of Sunanda between 3 pm and 7 pm on Friday, they said. Sharma has written to Delhi Police asking them to share findings of the investigation till now, the sources said.

The AIIMS doctors' panel is likely to hand over the autopsy report to the SDM tomorrow, they said. The SDM may discuss various technical details with the doctors concerned after receiving the autopsy report from them, they said.

Media reports had speculated that a combination of alcohol and anti-depressants could have caused her death. AIIMS doctors have preserved certain "biological samples for toxicological analysis as well as visco-pathological examination."

"We have completed the whole procedure. Samples for toxicological analysis means ruling out any poison. Some pathology of the heart has been preserved by us," said Dr Sudhir Gupta, head of the panel of doctors which performed the autopsy.

Samples of body fluids and viscera which were taken yesterday were tested in the AIIMS Forensic Laboratory, findings of which will be submitted as the final report tomorrow to the SDM. Half of the samples have been sent to the CFSL, the reports of which will be sought only if any discrepancy in this report comes out. Then the court will order CFSL to submit their report directly to them.

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