Crime branch to probe Sunanda Pushkar’s death

NEW DELHI (TIP): The mysterious death of Union HRD Minister Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar will now be probed by the crime branch, the Delhi Police declared on January 23.

Sunanda Pushkar’s death is the third high-profile case to be referred to the specialised crime branch for investigation over the last year from the southeast range — which is being viewed as a worrying sign for the local police.

The other cases include the Ponty Chadha murder case, the death of NRI Anmol Sarna and the alleged involvement of two police constables in setting ablaze an auto-rickshaw driver’s father when refused a bribe. Meanwhile, police sources said they had not been able to recover footage from CCTV cameras installed on the hotel floor on which Pushkar was staying, prior to the discovery of her body in room number 345 last Friday evening.

“The only footage we have is of her from CCTV cameras installed in the lobby of Leela Palace hotel,” admitted an officer. “We have no other footage of her and have asked the hotel management to help us provide it,” the officer said. Senior police officials privy to the investigation said they were mulling questioning ‘several people’ whose names and contact details had figured on Pushkar’s contact list prior to her death. Pushkar is understood to have talked to more than three dozen people prior to her death on January 17; police sources said this was imperative to piecing together a plausible series of events leading to her death.

“Many of these persons were industrialists, others were journalists from her friend circle whom she is expected to have told about her uncomfortable mental condition in the wake of her husband’s alleged affair with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar,” an officer said. Police sources said they would meet officials from the south district to exchange notes on the investigation so far on Friday – precisely a week since her body was recovered.

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