Circumstantial evidence indicates Sunanda poisoned by alprazolam: FIR

    NEW DELHI (TIP): Circumstantial evidence points to “alprazolam poisoning” as the reason for Sunanda Pushkar’s death and injuries to her were caused by “blunt force” but did not cause death while her body also bore injection and teeth bite marks, says the FIR in the murder case.

    “The circumstantial evidences are suggestive of alprazolam poisoning,” said the three-page First Information Report, which has been accessed by IANS, adding poisoning was through oral route but an “injectable route” could not be ruled out.

    “All the injuries mentioned are caused by blunt force, simple in nature, non-contributing to death and are produced in scuffle, except injury number 10 which is an injection mark. Injury number 12 is a teeth bite mark. The injuries number 1 to 15 are of various duration ranging from 12 hours to four days,” the FIR said.

    Pushkar, wife of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor was found dead in a south Delhi hotel room Jan 17, 2014. Police registered a murder case Jan 1, 2015 based on a final medical report by AIIMS which said she died due to poisoning.

    The FIR said the latest report from autopsy board, received Dec 29, 2014, said Pushkar, 52, was neither ill nor suffering from any disease prior to her death.

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    “She was a normal, healthy individual. In view of the above analysis, death due to natural cause is ruled out. The cause of death in this case is poisoning. The poisoning is through oral route, however injectable route too also can’t be ruled out,” the FIR said.

    Narrating the sequence of events, the FIR says that then station house officer (SHO) of Sarojini Nagar police station Atul Sood received a telephonic call on Jan 17, 2014 from Tharoor’s personal secretary (PS) Abinav Kumar that Pushkar “has done something” in room number 345 of Hotel Leela Palace. A daily diary entry regarding the death was lodged the same day.

    Pushkar had checked into the hotel at 5.48 p.m. Jan 15, 2014.

    The FIR says that the first autopsy, conducted by three doctors of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), opined poisoning as the cause of death.

    The concerned sub-divisional magistrate sent the report to Sarojini Nagar SHO asking him to conduct further investigation. It also asked him to request the director, Central Forensic Science Laboratory, for early report of viscera examination.

    The viscera, clothes and medicines found on the spot were sent to CFSL Jan 20 last year. Police got viscera analysis report in March last year and it was given to the AIIMS autopsy board the same month.

    In its subsequent report in September, the autopsy board opined “the cause of death in the case is poisoning”.

    The FIR says that autopsy board members along with CFSL expert team visited the scene of occurrence Nov 5 and again collected evidence.

    “The report in this regard was received on Dec 24, 2014 and the same was sent to autopsy board along with other relevant treatment papers related to the deceased on the same day,” the FIR said.

    A day before her death, Pushkar and Tharoor issued a joint statement denying reports that they had a row over his alleged affair with a Pakistani journalist. Tharoor was then a minister in the government of then prime minister Manmohan Singh. He was re-elected to the Lok Sabha in May last year.

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