Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi on Monday said that the questioning of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor in connection with the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar is “possible in the next couple of days”.
When asked about media reports that the evidence in the hotel room where Sunanda was found dead on January 17 last year was tampered with, Bassi said, “There is no basis to these allegations.”
“I know that he (Tharoor) has come to Delhi. Our investigation is on and it is possible in the next couple of days or whenever the SIT will find it appropriate, they will question him,” he said.
The police chief also did not rule out questioning Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar, and said if the SIT finds anything relevant, “that will not be ignored”.
Bassi said that Sunanda’s viscera samples have not been sent abroad as yet.
51-year-old Sunanda was found dead at a suite in five-star hotel in South Delhi on the night of January 17, 2014, a day after her spat with Tarar on micro-blogging website Twitter over her alleged affair with Tharoor.
Her viscera samples have to be sent to a foreign lab in the US or UK to determine the nature and quantity of the poison which caused her death.
“It has to be sent, once the procedures are complete it will be sent,” Bassi said.
On whether the police was looking at the IPL cricket league-angle to the case, the police chief said, “When you are looking into a case, you always look into the circumstances, background and anything which can throw light in the case. We always look into those aspects. Whatever will be required will be done by the SIT.”
Bassi said they have just started investigation in the case and the probe is on at full swing, but it is not possible to reach a conclusion soon.
“I would be able to brief you in two-three days. What I can tell you at this moment is that our investigation is on at full swing and we want to reach a logical conclusion as soon as possible,” he told reporters.
“We are lucky that whatever we do, we have to be transparent because our work is examined by the prosecution, judicial officers of the court and the defence. So we cannot afford to go wrong,” Bassi said when asked about allegations of delay in conducting the probe.
“I am sure that whenever our investigation is complete nobody will have any doubts,” he added.
Replying to allegations made by Tharoor in a letter written to Bassi in which the MP had accused Delhi Police of “repeatedly physically assaulting and intimidating” his domestic help into “confessing” that they both murdered Sunanda, the police chief said that he had checked with the senior supervisory and no such thing was found.
“I would like to tell you that the allegations made were not correct,” he said.
Bassi also said that he will not be able to give the exact number of people questioned in the case so far.
“But in any case whoever has anything to do with the case or whoever has any relevant evidence to the case, it has to be collected and it is being done by the SIT,” he said.
When asked about the latest e-mail Tharoor had sent him after an FIR was registered in the case where the Congress MP has posed some questions to the police, Bassi said that he has not replied to that e-mail so far.
“Everybody has the right to express his views. We have to ensure that we do things on merit and sooner than later we try to complete the probe,” he said.
Delhi Police had on Tuesday registered a case of murder in connection with Sunanda’s death under Section 302 of IPC on the basis of an AIIMS medical report that concluded that her death was unnatural and due to poisoning.
A Special Investigating Team has also been formed to probe the case from scratch.