Sunanda Pushkar’s death not natural: Delhi Police chief

16 Jan 2016


Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi said on Friday that the death of Sunanda Pushkar, the late wife of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, was not natural, as investigators reviewed the final viscera report of Pushkar, who died under mysterious circumstances two years ago.

''I can say with certainty that Sunanda Pushkar's death was not natural,'' Bassi said. ''We have got an 11-page report with 20 annexure. Give us time to study it,'' he added.

Pushkar, 51, was found dead in a room in a south Delhi Hotel on January 17, 2014.

In its 15-page report, the FBI has endorsed the All India Institute of Medical Sciences' (AIIMS) claim that Pushkar died due to poisoning.

The details of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation report that ruled out 'polonium poisoning' as the cause of Sunanda Pushkar's death cannot be made public before its submission in court, Delhi Police had said earlier on Thursday.

''The report cannot be made public, at least till the time we send it to the court,'' said Police Commissioner Bassi.

''In its autopsy report, AIIMS on 20 January 2014 had mentioned the cause of Sunanda Pushkar's death as poisoning; and the same has been confirmed and endorsed by the FBI,'' said Dr Sudhir Gupta, head of the forensic medicine department at AIIMS. Dr Gupta had headed the medical board that conducted Pushkar's autopsy.

The Delhi Police had submitted the FBI report to the AIIMS medical board for further opinion a month ago, and the team submitted a consolidated report on Friday.

Apart from finding in the viscera sample the presence of the poison suspected by forensic medicine experts at AIIMS and mentioned separately in its report, the FBI has also made note of certain other chemicals that could have possibly caused her death.

Bassi said special commissioner of police (law and order) Deepak Mishra was reviewing the progress in the case.

Pushkar's autopsy was conducted by a three-member medical board formed by AIIMS director Dr M C Misra, and had derived the cause of death as poisoning.

However, the AIIMS' experts had sent the samples for further chemical and toxicological analyses by forensic science experts to corroborate their findings.

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