Tue, 21 Jan 2014 21:00:00 GMT | By PTI

Probe murder, suicide angles in Sunanda case, cops told

SDM says there were many injury marks on Sunanda's hands as well as minor bruise on a cheek, which could be due to use of "blunt force"


Probe murder, suicide angles in Sunanda case, cops told (© AP)

New Delhi: Delhi Police was on Tuesday directed to investigate murder or suicide angles in the death of Sunanda Pushkar after the autopsy pin-pointed "poisoning" as reason for the mysterious death of union minister Shashi Tharoor's wife.

Alok Sharma, the sub-divisional magistrate who is handling the high-profile case, gave this directive to the police after considering the autopsy report, which also mentioned over a dozen injury marks on both her hands as well as a minor bruise on her left cheek which could be due to use of "blunt force". However, the report ruled out death due to these injuries.

In a report to the police, SDM, who has recorded the statement of Sunanda's brother, son, Tharoor and his staff, said no family member suspected any foul play in the death.

Doctors at AIIMS, who conducted autopsy on Sunanda, had said her death was "sudden and unnatural" and it was caused by "drug overdose" which in other words could be called drug poisoning.

52-year-old Sunanda was found dead in a five-star hotel in South Delhi on Friday night, a day after her twitter spat with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar over an alleged affair with Tharoor.

The autopsy report also said no food samples were found in Sunanda's stomach which according to doctors suggested that "she had not been eating".

Police sources said two strips of anti-depressant drug alprazolam, commonly known as alprax, were found in the hotel suite where she was found dead.

The SDM, in his report, said Sunanda could have died in "just three ways, homicidal, suicidal and accidental", and police should investigate further to ascertain the reason of her death.

Sources said what caused the poisoning and what sort of drug was involved will be clear after the viscera report.

They said the viscera samples have already been sent to the CFSL and their analysis will reveal what was it and in what quantity.

"As the cause of death is poisoning and there is no allegation of dowry, the SDM has directed the police to probe the matter further thoroughly and take action as per law," the sources added.

The SDM had recorded statements of Sunanda's two brothers Ashish Das and Rajesh Pushkar, her son Shiv Menon, husband Shashi Tharoor and his personal assistant, consultant, domestic help, driver, journalist Nalini Singh and two hotel doctors who had declared her dead.

The police will also probe whether all the statements are corroborating each other and check the details of mobile call records, CCTV footage, iPad, Laptop, Internet usage etc.

Sharma in his report said under section 176 of CrPC his job was to determine cause of the death which has been established as poisoning.

Any death within seven years of marriage is legally required to be investigated by the sub-divisional magistrate.

The report also said that registration of a case was not ordered by the SDM as there was no evidence or allegation of dowry by any of the relatives.

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