Sunanda Pushkar may have died of Alprax overdose, FBI reports; Bassi says death not natural

Sunanda Pushkar death: "Have been told that Medical Board's advice in late Sunanda's case has been received," Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi said in a tweet.

Written by Mahender Singh Manral , Pritha Chatterjee | New Delhi | Updated: January 16, 2016 9:19 am
Sunanda Pushkar, Sunanda Pushkar death, Sunanda death, Sunanda murder case, Sunanda Pushkar viscera report, Sunanda FBI, delhi police, Sunanda pushkar news, MP shashi tharoor, delhi police sunanda case, india news The FBI report had virtually ruled out the theory of ‘polonium poisoning’ having caused Sunanda Pushkar’s death  inside her suite at a five-star hotel in January 2014.

Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, may have died of poisoning due to an overdose of the anti-anxiety drug Alprax, according to sources in Delhi Police. The assessment is based on a report prepared by an AIIMS medical board, which analysed the findings of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Pushkar’s viscera samples, said sources.

The medical board submitted its report on Friday to a police Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing Pushkar’s death in a New Delhi hotel on January 17, 2014.

“It appears that she took multiple tablets of Alprax which generated poison in her body which finally killed her. We are now probing whether she took the tablets or was given a high dose,” said sources.

Taken usually in a 0.25-mg dose, Alprax acts as a tranquiliser to control anxiety. Doctors prescribe it as a sleep inducer to some patients — in very high doses it can be fatal.

In a statement, Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi said Pushkar’s death was unnatural but added that no radioactive substance was found inside her body.

“The police will take the case’s investigation to its logical conclusion. The report received from AIIMS is detailed, running into 11 pages and containing an annexure of 30 pages,” said Bassi.

Share This Article
Related Article

“Radiation levels in Pushkar’s body were found to be within the acceptable range and the cause of death is poisoning,” said the police chief.

He refused to divulge the name of the poisonous substance. “Members of the SIT will examine the AIIMS report and will reach a conclusion soon,” said Bassi.

The FBI report, which came in the first week of November last year, was sent to the AIIMS medical board for “a final observation”. It “reiterated” the findings of an earlier report by AIIMS, said the institute’s forensic department chief Dr Sudhir Gupta.

“The FBI team has reiterated our findings and fully endorsed the AIIMS report, which said the cause of death is poisoning. Based on circumstantial evidence, we had identified some chemicals which could act as poisons. The FBI team has identified the same chemicals in all of Pushkar’s samples,” said Dr Gupta.

The AIIMS report had identified Ethyl Alcohol, Alprazolam, caffeine, Acetaminophen and Cotinine among other chemicals, said sources. The FBI report has said that some of these chemicals, when given in an injectible form, can cause death, they said.

Dr Gupta said he continued to stand by his team’s findings that the cause of death was poisoning. “We have maintained our findings from the start. This is not a natural death and it appears to be a case of death from poisoning. Based on all the forensic reports, I continue to stand by our findings,” said Dr Gupta.

According to sources, the board also questioned how two government laboratories — Central Forensic Science Laboratory and Forensic Science Laboratory — failed to identify the chemicals in Pushkar’s viscera samples even though the earlier report mentioned the possible cause of death.

The report said this “raises grave concerns about the quality of investigation, custody and analysis of biological evidences, since two Delhi laboratories couldn’t detect the poison which has been clearly mentioned in the post-mortem report which stalled the investigations,” said sources.

Earlier, Bassi tweeted that Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Deepak Mishra will review the progress of the case. “Have been told that Medical Board’s advice in late Sunanda’s case has been received. Deepak is reviewing progress. Merits shall be ensured,” stated the tweet.

(With inputs from Alok Singh)


For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App now

  1. M
    Jan 16, 2016 at 1:31 am
    Which dating AGENGY brokered the nuptials between Kerala brahmin and Kashmere brahmin. They are good at such filthy activities, like SubRAMINION Swamy who was at the spot on the night she was killed.
    1. A
      Jan 15, 2016 at 5:18 pm
      1. G
        Jan 15, 2016 at 6:46 pm
        The murder happened in Delhi. Why Kejri is silent on this matter?
        1. I
          Jan 15, 2016 at 11:03 am
          Only FBI has to reveal the truth if even it carried out the lab test. Wait, when onwards FBI start to work as a medical lab?
          1. R
            Jan 15, 2016 at 11:11 am
            Unless Indian external and internal agencies are complicit in/executed the murder, which is possible because all security camera records( from a 5* hotel) have vanished into thin air, there was no need to bring in a foreign investigation agency.
            1. N
              Jan 15, 2016 at 11:15 am
              How is such press releases are exactly timed on every anniversary of her death? To pacify people? Then surely some murderous agency must be behind the murder. Who is that scoundrel who ordered the murder of a lonely woman?
              1. P
                Jan 15, 2016 at 5:09 pm
                Like Neeraj Kumar(former Delhi police c(t)hief) appoint Bi as the next chief security officer of CORRUPT BCCI.
                1. G
                  Jan 16, 2016 at 1:35 am
                  First news: polonium poisoning________ Second news: poisoning_____________ Third news: soning____________ Fourth news: Indians fooled
                  1. A
                    Jan 15, 2016 at 4:56 pm
                    Please give a justice to the departed soul! Do not make her a case like Netaji or Shashtriji. People in India are subjected to injustice even after the death. setting such example is like treating us like butchered animals.
                    1. J
                      Jan 15, 2016 at 8:08 pm
                      Of course, no "Human Rights" group or "Women Rights" group will raise a finger on this, because this is a friendly murder of the "secular" party gangs. Normally these groups only carry out campaign against action on terror elements like Yakub Memon.
                      1. N
                        Jan 15, 2016 at 11:18 am
                        And why is Modi govt so lethargic in bringing out the truth? Because irrespective of who rules, there is a common superior agency.
                        1. K
                          Jan 15, 2016 at 6:45 pm
                          Where is Award Vapsi brigade? Do they consider husband's killing of wife is tolerance?
                          1. M
                            Jan 15, 2016 at 8:05 pm
                            The Con Party Minister has the right to kill his wife, and if you raise any question, then you would be dubbed as 'intolerant', and the Award Vapsis would return their awards (for bigger award payment by Con Party mafia).
                            1. M
                              Jan 15, 2016 at 6:59 pm
                              Communal BJP must have a hand in it causing problem for Congress! Isn't this finding is in line with what Dr. Swami has been saying from the beginning! Only chance for Congress now is to find ways to blame BJP/RSS. I think at one stage Sunanda once spoke about girls having property rights (after marrying some one, outside Kashmir) which is in line with BJP's ideal one country one law! Yes, here is a link between Sunanda and BJP - all Congress needs to do is to work on this line and bingo!
                              1. M
                                Jan 15, 2016 at 6:47 pm
                                It must be "Congress chemical" that has killed her same way PM Shastri was killed!
                                1. M
                                  Jan 15, 2016 at 6:49 pm
                                  Are you serious? Are your serious? Wasn't this a secular death? Aren't awardwapsi working for secular ideal?
                                  1. T
                                    Jan 15, 2016 at 11:55 am
                                    Bi looks like a dakkan, every oneknew it was unnatural death , Police was to find whether it was suicideor murder ? which Bi,s men have not done so far
                                    1. N
                                      Jan 15, 2016 at 11:22 am
                                      India has a liberal supply of polonium from Russia/Israel. Both have records of using them in their enemies.
                                      1. L
                                        Jan 16, 2016 at 1:25 am
                                        I am waiting to hear when Supreme CORRUPT(SC) of India will take cognizance and voluntarily take over the investigation. Since the investigation has become international, and to save high profile figures, I am very confident the Supreme CORRUPT(SC) of India would definitely pitch in and contribute its judicial broker expertise. Retired THIEF Justices will be pimps between fake prosecution and fake accused parties.
                                        1. A
                                          Jan 15, 2016 at 4:42 pm
                                          Let's not waste money in investigation every knows who is involved the rich and powerful will never get arrested they always have power ful lawyers who would do anything for money
                                          1. B
                                            Jan 15, 2016 at 5:20 pm
                                            PM Modi should take initiative to upgarde the CBI to the level of FBI in the USA with excellent labs and investigative tools. He should get rid of the bureaucrats and other forces that come in the way of modernisation of CBI, since many politicians including the ones from BJP, have a vested interest against doing it. Politically its difficult for PM Modi or BJP to let the prosecution of Shashi Tharoor, since the Nair community's (Tharoor's strong backers)support is critical for the launching of the third front as a political force in upcoming Kerala elections.
                                            1. Load More Comments