Police rely on ‘psychological autopsy’ to file chargesheet in Sunanda Pushkar deathhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/police-rely-on-psychological-autopsy-to-file-chargesheet-in-sunanda-pushkar-death-5176809/

Police rely on ‘psychological autopsy’ to file chargesheet in Sunanda Pushkar death

The SIT has also submitted a report of the AIIMS medical board, which states she died of poisoning due to an overdose of the anti-anxiety drug Alprax.

Police rely on ‘psychological autopsy’ to file chargesheet in Sunanda Pushkar death
Sunanda Pushkar, the wife of Shashi Tharoor, was found dead in a New Delhi hotel.

To establish there was “marital-discord” between Shashi Tharoor and his wife Sunanda Pushkar, the special investigation team (SIT) of the south district police conducted a “psychological autopsy” after recording statements of her family and friends, who substantiated that the relationship was “strained”, an official involved in the probe told The Indian Express.

“On the basis of medico-legal and forensic evidence analysed during investigation, as well as opinion of psychological autopsy experts, the Pushkar case was investigated by SIT of South District. The matter now is sub judice,” said Delhi Police spokesperson Dependra Pathak.

Psychological autopsy, according to police, is a “reconstructive evaluation to understand an individual’s mental state around the time of death for the purpose of ascertaining the cause”. The method involves collecting information on the dead through “structured interviews of family members, relatives or friends as well as attending health care personnel”.

Sources in the SIT said the couple’s domestic help, Narayan Singh, has been named as a key witness in the case. Police sources, quoting Singh’s statement, claimed the couple had an argument on January 16, and that Sunanda had been upset over it. The SIT also recorded statements of her close friends.

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Pushkar, 51, was found dead in her hotel suite on January 17, 2014, days after she publicly accused her husband of having an affair with a Pakistani journalist. Police first claimed she was poisoned and registered a murder case in January 2015 without naming any suspect. “They arrived at the conclusion of suicide following the medico-legal report and the ‘psychological autopsy’,” sources said.

Sources said emails and messages analysed during the investigation were among the factors that were also considered while filing the chargesheet.

The SIT has also submitted a report of the AIIMS medical board, which states she died of poisoning due to an overdose of the anti-anxiety drug Alprax.

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