Delhi Police has formed a Special Investigation Team to probe the murder of Sunanda Pushkar, the wife of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.
“A special investigation team has been set up which will be closely monitored by DCP South, Additional DCP South,1 inspector and SHO,” Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi told reporters on Wednesday.
“We will take all necessary steps as per our investigation plan,” he said.
Asked if the team with question Tharoor again, he said: “As far as questioning is concerned, whatever is necessary will be done.”
Delhi Police will also send her viscera samples to a laboratory either in Britain or the US to identify the poison including whether it could be radioactive isotopes that cannot be detected in Indian labs.
Bassi on Tuesday had said that a murder case had been registered against “unknown persons” for killing Pushkar, and that the final medical report was clear that the 52-year-old died an unnatural death.
“She died due to poisoning. Whether the poison was given orally or injected into her body is being probed,” he said, adding her viscera would be sent abroad.
Ruling out suicide, Special Commissioner of Police Deepak Mishra said it was a case of “homicidal poisoning”.
Pushkar was found dead in a luxury hotel on January 17, 2014, a day after she and Tharoor checked in because their house was allegedly getting painted. Both had been married twice earlier.
Tharoor was then the minister of state for human resource development in the Manmohan Singh government.
A day earlier, Tharoor and Pushkar had issued a joint statement saying they were “happily married and intend to remain that way” following media reports that Tharoor allegedly had an affair with a Pakistani journalist.
The Delhi Police got the final medical report from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on December 29. Police sources told IANS the murder case was registered Jan 4.
Asked why it took almost a year for the final medical report to come, Bassi said the interim report spoke of poisoning but did not say it was an unnatural death.
In a statement at Thiruvananthapuram, Tharoor said he and members of Pushkar’s family wanted access to all information related to his wife’s death.
“I am anxious to see that this case is investigated thoroughly, and (I) assure the police my full cooperation.
“Although we never thought of any foul play in the death of my wife, we all want a comprehensive investigation and unvarnished truth.”
The first autopsy report, submitted Jan 20 last year, said Tharoor’s wife died due to drug overdose. It reported a dozen injury marks on her body.
A later autopsy report in July put the number of injury marks at 15. All the injuries were caused by blunt forces except one which was an injection mark.
Later, Sudhir Kumar Gupta, who headed the forensic team in AIIMS, alleged that he was pressured to show that Pushkar’s death was natural.
The AIIMS denied the claim. Gupta was later moved out of his post.