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Shashi Tharoor charged with abetment to suicide in Sunanda Pushkar death case

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NEW DELHI: Delhi Police on Monday charged senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor with abetment to suicide in connection with the mysterious death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar.

The police filed a 3000 page chargesheet before Metropolitan Magistrate Dharmender Singh under sections 498 A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code.

Following the development, Tharoor called the chargesheet 'preposterous' and said that he 'intend to contest it vigorously'.

"I have taken note of the filing of this preposterous charge sheet and intend to contest it vigorously. No one who knew Sunanda believes she would ever have committed suicide, let alone abetment on my part. If this is conclusion arrived at after 4+ years of investigation it does not speak well of the methods or motivations of the Delhi Police. The Congress leader said questioned the methods or motivations of the Delhi Police pointed out the delay of the chargesheet filing which took place more than four years after the death was reported," he tweeted.

In March 2018, a confidential report claimed that Pushkar was indeed murdered. The report, exclusively accessed by DNA, stated that investigators knew the answer as to who killed Sunanda Pushkar from the beginning yet her death was kept a mystery.

According to the first report prepared in the case by the then Deputy Commissioner of Police BS Jaiswal, it clearly stated that the Sub Divisional Magistrate at Vasant Vihar Alok Sharma, who inspected the place of crime at Leela Hotel and conducted the inquest proceeding, was of the view that it was not a suicide. 

The report, exclusively accessed by DNA, stated unsatisfied with the inquest proceedings, Sub Divisional Magistrate had ordered the Station House Officer of Sarojini Nagar to investigate the case as murder.

The decision was made when the autopsy report stated, "The cause of death to the best of my knowledge and belief, in this case, is poisoning. The circumstantial evidenced are suggestive of alprazolam poisoning. All the injuries mentioned are caused by blunt force, simple in nature, non-contributing to death and are produced in a scuffle, except injury number 10 with an injection mark. Injury number 12 is teeth bite mark. The injuries number 1 to 15 is of various durations ranging from 12 hours to 4 days.” 

The report clearly stated that the injection marks were fresh. The report also stated the body of Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor had various scuffle marks. 

"These seem to have caused due to a scuffle between Sunanda Pushkar and her Husband Shashi Tharoor as per the statement of their personal attendant Narain Singh," said the report which was submitted to then Southern Delhi range Joint Commissioner of Police Vivek Gogia, who was given a task to personally monitor the case. The report was further submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The secret report had all the annexure, which included, post-mortem, chemical,  biological fingerprints reports - accessed by DNA - separately and each report pointed towards murder yet the police did not register a case.

On January 17, 2014, at about 9 pm police came to know that Sunanda Pushkar has died in Room Number 345, which is a suite, at Hotel Leela Palace. Preliminary enquiries stated that she had checked in to this hotel on January 15, 2014, at 5: 46 pm. The room number 307 was earlier given to her, later on, she moved to Room number 345 in the afternoon on January 16, 1 2014.

Also, the crime branch sleuths and journalist Nalini Singh stated that Sunanda wanted to a presser. At 3 pm, she had asked her assistant to take out her white dress as she wanted to do a press conference. Next thing happened, she was found dead. The question remained the same. Who killed the socialite Sunanda Pushkar. 

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