Sunanda’s death: Tharoor records statement, writes to Shinde for speedy probe (Roundup)

New Delhi, Jan 19: Union minister Shashi Tharoor Sunday recorded his statement with a sub-divisional magistrate here regarding the mysterious death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar and also wrote to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde urging him to issue instructions for expediting a probe in the matter.

Tharoor recorded his statement with Vasant Vihar sub-divisional magistrate Alok Sharma. The minister reached Sharma’s office in Kapashera area around 5.30 p.m. and stayed there for 50 minutes.

Sharma also recorded the statement of TV journalist Nalini Singh, “who was the last person Pushkar called” from her mobile, according to police officials.

“The sub-divisional magistrate recorded my statement as Sunanda had talked to me, just hours before she was found dead in the room of hotel Leela Palace Friday. I also told him that I am ready to cooperate throughout the investigation, if required,” Nalini told IANS.

In his letter to Shinde, Tharoor said he was “horrified to read the reckless speculation rampant” in the media and offered his full cooperation in the probe.

“In the midst of my mourning, I have finally had a chance to catch up with the media reports and am horrified to read the reckless speculation rampant there,” Tharoor said in the letter.

The minister of state for human resource development said the truth should emerge at the earliest.

“I am appealing to you to issue instructions to the relevant authorities to expedite their investigation and come to a rapid conclusion so that the truth emerges at the earliest,” he said.

“I pledge full and unstinting cooperation. Nothing short of the truth will end the indignity to which my wife and I are being subject at a time when all I seek is to be allowed to grieve in private with her and my near and dear ones.”

Doctors Saturday said Pushkar, 52, died an “unnatural, sudden death” with her body bearing “injury marks”.

A police official, however, said “it could be a case of drug overdose or overdose of sleeping pills” but added that things would be clear only after the detailed autopsy report.

The post-mortem report is likely to come out Wednesday, police said.

A number of political leaders, including Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Sunday visited Tharoor’s Lodhi Estate residence here to offer their condolences.

Among those who visited Tharoor’s residence were cricketer-turned politician Mohd. Azharuddin, actor-turned politician Jaya Prada and former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh.

Amar Singh told mediapersons that Sunanda was a brave lady and she could not commit suicide.

Minister of State for Power Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia and Congress senior leader Pawan Bansal also met Tharoor.

IANS