Even as the mystery over Sunanda Pushkar’s death continues, the controversy surrounding her autopsy report got murkier with husband Shashi Tharoor demanding a ‘definitive’ conclusion in the case.
Here is a timeline of the events that unfolded since Pushkar’s death:
January 17, 2014: Sunanda Pushkar, wife of former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, found dead under mysterious circumstances in suite no 345 of Hotel Leela Palace in New Delhi. While police suspected she might have committed suicide, the possibility of medicine overdose was not ruled out since Pushkar was undergoing medical treatment. Inquest proceedings under Section 174 CrPC were initiated in the Sunanda case according to which a sub-divisional magistrate inquires into the death of a woman if she dies within seven years of her marriage.
January 19: The doctors who conducted postmortem on Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor at AIIMS said it appeared to be a case of “sudden, unnatural death”, and that she had “certain injuries on the body”. The autopsy report of Sunanda was learnt to have said that she died due to “poisoning” and neither confirmed nor ruled out suicide. The autopsy board included two other doctors, additional professor of forensic medicine Dr Adarsh Kumar and a senior resident in the department, Dr Shashank Puniya. The autopsy report had mentioned more than a dozen injury marks on Sunanda’s hands and an abrasion on her cheek which suggests a “use of blunt force”, besides a “deep teeth bite” on the edge of her left palm. Although “nominal traces” of the anti-anxiety drug Alprazolam were found, there were “no findings suggestive of drug overdose”.
January 19: Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), where Sunanda Tharoor had undergone treatment from January 12 to 14, said that she was not diagnosed with any life-threatening disease. KIMS Hospital director and cardiologist Dr G Vijayaraghavan said Pushkar was not diagnosed with any serious medical condition that could cause immediate death.
January 21: The subdivisional magistrate (SDM) who was heading the inquest said that Sunanda died of poisoning. In his report, the SDM has said that Sunanda has died of poisoning and has asked police to probe the cause of poisoning. Alok Sharma, the SDM has also asked the police to specifically probe the murder/suicide angle. The SDM, in his report, had said Sunanda could have died in “just three ways, homicidal, suicidal and accidental” and police should investigate further to ascertain the reason of her death. The SDM said under section 176 of CrPC his job was to determine cause of the death which has been established as poisoning.
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