New Delhi, Jan.18: Doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) will reportedly carry out a postmortem on the body of Sunanda Tharoor, the wife of Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor, on Saturday.
Sunanda was found dead at the five-star Leela Hotel in South Delhi late on Friday night. Her body was found on a bed in suite 345 of the Leela Hotel. Her death comes within 48 hours of her going public about her husband’s alleged affair with a Pakistani journalist, Mehr Tarar, raising suspicions of suicide, although no note has been found.
She was discovered by Shashi Tharoor when he returned to the hotel on Friday evening after Friday’s AICC session. The couple are said to have moved out of the minister’s official bungalow as it was being painted.
The police have initially suggested it was suicide. But late at night, the officers were more guarded. Police sources said it could be a “natural or unnatural death”. They said all angles were being probed: suicide, poisoning and death due to a sudden heart attack.
A forensic team is at the hotel. A magistrate was interrogating Shashi Tharoor and his private secretary as per media reports.
The case is being probed under Section 176 of the Criminal Procedure Code as the marriage was less than seven years old. Delhi Police will also ask Twitter to give details of direct messages between Sunanda and Tarar.
Meanwhile, condolences are pouring in from a cross section of society.
M.A. Baby, a member of the CPI-M politburo said: “This is sad news. This happed in the backdrop of a heated controversy. Only after the post mortem, we will be able to say anything. I convey my condolences to Shashi Tharoor. The central government should order a thorough investigation.”
Union Minister Kapil Sibal said that he was deeply shocked by the incident.
“My heartfelt condolences to my friend and colleague Shashi Tharoor and their family,” he said on Twitter.
Pakistan’s former envoy to the United States Hussain Haqqani, who is attending the Jaipur Literary Festival, said: “They were a well known family through out the world. My heart goes out for the Pushkar’s family and the Tharoor’s family. I would not like to get into the details of what were the circumstances. Sunanda was disturbed by the lack of privacy of family that has caused her a lot of pain. Shashi and Sunanda loved each other. I just hope that this tragedy does not prolong itself, affecting the families more than it already has.”
Sunanda’s father, who resides in Jammu, did not respond as his phone was switched off.
But the domestic help Harbans Lal said: “Sir’s phone is switched off. We are feeling very sad. I just got to know. It is sad that she is no more. We treated her like our mother and our sister. She was very nice. She seemed to be in a happy marriage. She came here with her father last Oct er for one day. Sir is in Patiala with his elder son. I have been with them for the last five years.”
In Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor’s parliamentary constituency, and atmosphere of shock and sadness prevailed.
“He (Shashi Tharoor) was and is an International celebrity. He is very famous man. I convey my condolence to Shashi Tharoor. This is very sad news,” said a local resident.
Santosh Sahadevan, another local, said: “It’s a shocking news that his wife is no more. Condolences to him.”
Bollywood too offered its condolences.
Actress Neha Dhupia said: “Shocking news about Sunanda Pushkar. A person so full of life. Can’t believe she’s gone. Heartfelt condolences to Shashi Tharoor and the family.”
Ameesha Patel, another actress, said: “I’m just shocked and saddened by my friend Sunanda Tharoor’s sudden death. What a lovely person she was.”
Gul Panag said: “Deepest condolences to Shashi. May the almighty give him strength to go through this extremely tumultuous time.”
Businessman and IPL frachise owner Vijay Mallya said:”Shocked. Just met her at New Year’s. Vibrant as always.”
Singer Sonu Nigam said: “Good people like Sunanda are rare. A truly positive soul. It’s a personal loss.”
Bollywood director Karan Johar said: ‘Absolutely shocked to hear about Sunanda. Tragic to say the least.
Parliamentarian Milind Deora said:” Very very shocking. My heartfelt condolences to her family and loved ones.” (ANI with inputs)