Drug overdose a possible cause for Sunanda Pushkar's death: Sources

Tharoor wife's cremated; doctors declare death 'sudden, unnatural'; poisoning not ruled out too.

New Delhi: A drug overdose could be a possible cause of the death of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, whose statement will be recorded on Monday by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM).

With doctors declaring her death in a five-star hotel on Friday as 'sudden, unnatural' after the autopsy conducted on Saturday, the focus of investigations shifted to potential causes that led to the demise of 52-year-old Sunanda.

While the final autopsy report will be available in 'couple of days', police sources said that it could be a case of drug overdose. However, a final picture would emerge only after toxicological analysis and a complete visco-pathological examination.

Read here: Case of sudden, unnatural death: Postmortem

Alok Sharma, the SDM probing the sensation death, told PTI Saturday night that statements of Sunanda's son and brother had been recorded and also that of two servants of the Tharoors.

Asked when he would record Tharoor's statement, he said he was initially planning to do so on Sunday but had been informed that the minister and the family were going to Haridwar. Therefore, it would be recorded on Monday, he said.

Sharma said his inquiry, under Section 176 of CrPC which covers death of a women married for less than seven years, was to find out whether there was any foul play in Sunanda's death.

Police would carry out their investigations. The SDM has prepared a list of examinees, whose statements would also be recorded on Monday.

Read on: Sunanda Pushkar cremated

The police has questioned the hotel staff and checked the CCTV footage of the lobby of the third floor of the luxury hotel where Sunanda was staying. Sources in police said call details record of Sunanda was also being checked as part of the probe into her death.

Sunanda was found dead inside suite no 345 in Leela Palace hotel where she and her minister husband had checked in on Thursday. Investigators said they are screening the call details record of Pushkar as well as her tweets in the last few days.

They said a number of hotel staff, including those who had gone to the suite, were being questioned to corroborate the version of Tharoor and his staff.

Tharoor hospitalised, discharged after tests

The police had also searched the suite thoroughly to see whether Sunanda had used any medicine, they said, adding it was sealed later.

There were reports that the couple had initially booked two separate rooms in the hotel and later moved to the suite. The hotel staff is believed to have told police that the couple had heated arguments in the lobby.

With you in this hour of grief, PM writes to Tharoor; Sonia visits him

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday conveyed his 'shock and deep sadness' to Shashi Tharoor over the demise of his wife and said he was with him in this hour of grief.

Singh, who spoke to Tharoor Friday night soon after Sunanda's death, wrote a letter to his ministerial colleague to convey his condolences.

"It is with shock and deep sadness that I learnt about your bereavement. The loss of one's companion is indeed irreparable but I would like you to know that we are with you in this hour of grief. May God give you strength to tide over this difficult time," he wrote.

Meanwhile, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Saturday visited Shashi Tharoor. Gandhi spent around six-seven minutes at Tharoor's Lodhi Estate residence.

Other prominent political leaders who visited Tharoor included Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi and former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. Congress leaders Ambika Soni, Ahmed Patel, Mukul Wasnik, Rajiv Shukla and Ashwani Kumar were also among the leaders who went to Tharoor's residence.

Next: Samples of viscera, body fluid of Sunanda taken

Samples of viscera, body fluid of Sunanda taken

New Delhi: A three-member team of senior doctors at AIIMS, that conducted an autopsy on Sunanda Pushkar's body, has taken samples of viscera and body fluids to carry out various tests to ascertain the cause of her death.

"The viscera samples include portions of her heart, lungs, liver, kidney, hair, portions of the skin that bore injury marks," AIIMS spokesperson Amit Gupta told PTI.

He said some samples are being preserved for testing at the forensic laboratory in AIIMS while a few of them have been sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory.

Doctors, who conducted the postmortem for almost one and half hours, termed her death as "unnatural and sudden". Viscera has been preserved.

The report of the post mortem would be submitted to the Sub Divisional Magistrate on Monday in a sealed envelope, Gupta said. The three-member team includs Dr Sudhir K Gupta, professor and Head of Forensic medicine who is the chairman of this medical board, Dr Adarsh Kumar, Additional professor of Forensic medicines and Dr Shashank Pooniya, senior Resident of department of forensic medicine.

( Source : PTI )
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