NEW DELHI (TIP): The medical team probing the death of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of former Union minister Shashi Tharoor, has concluded that she died of poisoning.
The team comprised three doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and was headed by Dr Sudhir Gupta, who had earlier alleged that the team was pressured into giving a ‘tailor-made’ report in the case.
The report did not name the specific poison or chemical that caused the death. Instead, it listed a number of poisons that cannot be detected in Indian labs. These include thallium, polonium 210 (a radioactive substance of which a few milligrams is lethal), nerium oleander, snake venom, photolabile poisons and heroin.
Among the 15 injuries the team examined on Sunanda’s body, it found ‘injury number 10’ to be a mark caused by the needle of a syringe.
The team found no traces of anti-anxiety drug Alprax in her stomach, despite two strips containing 15 pills each of the drug being found next to the body.
What the team found was ethyl alcohol, caffeine, acetaminophen and cotinine in Sunanda’s body. It has asked for forensic analysis of Sunanda’s bedsheet and pillow cover.
The report may force Delhi Police to register an FIR in the case as none has been filed so far. The case has been investigated through inquest proceedings, that is, as a case of unnatural death.
Sunanda was found dead in a five-star hotel room on January 17 in the capital this year.
The new report was completed on September 27 and received by the investigating officer, V K P S Yadav, on September 30. The earlier IO, Atul Sood, was transferred a month ago and the ACP supervising the investigations, Surinder Sharma, retired in late September. The area DCP, too, was shifted to the traffic department a fortnight ago.
The report comes in the wake of the CFSL’s viscera report that found Sunanda’s heart, liver and kidneys to be normal.
In the report, the team lambasted Delhi Police for not submitting several crucial documents required to form a medical opinion. It said the cops did not submit any report on the reason for the injuries in Sunanda’s body. The team also said an analysis of circumstantial evidence in the case was required to be carried out but wasn’t.