The body of Shashi Tharoor’s wife cremated; doctors say it was a case of sudden, unnatural death.
A day after her body was found in her hotel room, the mortal remains of Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor, wife of India’s junior minister for human resources Shashi Tharoor, were consigned to the flames at a crematorium in Delhi on Saturday evening.
Tharoor, who was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) following “a cardiac event” on Friday night, was present to perform the last rites. Earlier in the day, a team of AIIMS doctors who performed autopsy on Sunanda’s body, declared that it was “a case of sudden, unnatural death”.
While they found some injury marks on her body, the doctors refused to reveal much about it. The final report of the autopsy, which also rules out poisoning as a cause of death, will be submitted in a couple of days. There was speculation on Saturday that Sunanda might have taken an overdose of sleeping pills the previous day.
Top figures in the ruling Congress party rallied round Tharoor.
Premier Manmohan Singh wrote he was with the minister “in this hour of grief”, while Congress President Sonia Gandhi paid him a condolence visit at his home.
The police were expected to record a statement from the minister about the death. A sub-divisional magistrate has also launched a mandatory probe, as the woman died within seven years of her marriage. The Tharoors got married in 2010 and it was the third marriage for both of them.
However, the marriage appeared to be on the rocks over the past few days, especially after a bitter feud occurred between the couple over the exchange of messages between the minister and Mehr Tarar, a Pakistani journalist. Sunanda confessed a few days earlier, both on social and mainstream media that she suspected her husband of having an affair with the journalist, a charge denied by Mehr.
Just a day before her death, Tharoor had issued “a joint statement” with her, claiming that the two were happy and there were no problems in the marriage. But reports on Saturday mentioned that the two had fought on the flight from Thiruvananthapuram to Delhi and even at the Leela Palace Hotel in Delhi.