Sunday, January 26, 2014

Shashi Tharoor - an update

Investigation into the sudden and unnatural death of Sunanda Pushkar was transferred from Delhi District police to Crime Branch in view of the 'sensitivity and complexity' of the case. Within a couple of days, the case was transferred back to Delhi police. This is prima facie evidence of a) unbearable political pressure at play and b) obvious and incontrovertible findings which are not palatable to the powers that be.

The following are some of the crucial pointers in the sad case:

1) It was ensured that post-mortem and cremation were hastened. 

2) Post mortem revealed more than a dozen injuries and a 'deep' teeth-bite. Resemblance or otherwise to minister's teeth should have been checked. This was not done. It was only reported that these injuries did not cause the death. The information regarding teeth bite was released to the public after a lot of delay.

3) Shiv Menon, Sunanda's son, has certified that Tharoor was not capable of causing physical injuries to his mother. Tharoor was not interested in knowing from others who caused the injuries. Menon's certificate reads like Tharoor's production. Shiv Menon is staying in Dubai and has reasons to be under threat to his life if he did not cooperate. Sunanda's brother, a colonel in Indian army, has also put out a similar view. As a red-herring bonus, he has added that he was a participant in the joint journey of the couple! These conduct certificates showered on the minister look like an extension of "Stockholm Syndrome". Alternatively, and more probably, they are acting under pressure and apparently in their self-interest.

4) Tharoor and his relatives initially claimed that the death was a suicide and was not a homicide. Relatives of any suicide would normally claim that it is a case of natural death. By extension, relatives who commit murder would assert it is a case of suicide. Belatedly, perhaps as an afterthought, her son and brother asserted that she was too strong-willed a person to commit suicide. At the same time, they or whoever was guiding them, brought in the improbable theory that it could be a case of negligent mix-up of medicines!

5) Sub-divisional magistrate who was under legal compulsion to conduct investigation by virtue of unnatural death within seven years of marriage concluded that police should look at the possibility of both murder and suicide. He also meaningfully added that the relatives had no suspicion of foul play. Apparently he foresees emergence of blame on third parties if murder is established. SDM has tried to be sincere to his role.

6) There are contradictory versions regarding CCTV. One report was that CCTV was non-functional in the floor where the event took place. Was it deliberately disabled?

7) After heated verbal exchanges at the airport and in the flight between the couple, Sunanda drove straight to Leela Palace. Tharoor followed in a different room and after a day went to Sunanda's room.

8) It was put out that the couple chose to stay in the hotel because of her dust-allergy as their house was getting painted. Painting was later changed to fumigation. Domestic servants are reported to have denied knowledge of either. When the spousal spat was public knowledge, where was the need for obfuscation? The latest version is that the minister's house is being renovated.

9) Sunanda had threatened to spill the beans regarding his role in IPL and had informed her friends of her decision to quit the marriage. Why did Tharoor continue to chase her and also manhandle her? Over a dozen bodily injuries and a deep teeth-bite could not be self-inflicted. 

10) An apparently joint tweet was put out that all was well in the marriage. Prior to this makebelieve announcement, allegations of hacked tweets had surfaced. Tharoor was tweeting for Sunanda also.

11) Tharoor waited for quite some time after he returned from the Congress meeting before checking up on Sunanda. Was he keen that sufficient time was allowed to ensure that she was no more?

Updated as follows on 1st March,2014:

Following report appeared in DNA on 25th / 26th February: (These details strengthen the case that it was murder, plain and simple. Injection mark on the right wrist of a right-handed person is not suggestive of self-infliction. We can expect the 'honourable minister' to come up with some self-serving mendacious explanation or more probably he would ignore the gravity of this disclosure in the autopsy report since he can anyway influence the police investigation.)

"An element of mystery and doubt has been infused into the tragic death of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Union minister Shashi Tharoor, with the post-mortem report saying that there was an injection mark on Pushkar's right wrist which caused her death.
All injuries on her body "were caused by blunt force, simple in nature and not contributing to death, except injury number 10, which is an injection mark," says the report.
Sunanda's body had 15 injuries, caused in 12 hours before her death. Injury number 12 was caused by a teeth bite. Injury number 10, an injection mark, remains a mystery, sources said.
A mild, foul-smelling gas emanated from her body during dissection, the report, signed by Dr Sudhir Gupta, said. It, however, doesn't spell out the details of injury number 10.
"Only the viscera report will reveal the nature of injection," sources said. The viscera report is likely to come out in March.
The Delhi police have written to the Central Forensic Science Lab last week seeking the report at the earliest.
An overdose of anxiety medicine Alprazolam was supposed to be the cause of her death so far. A sub-divisional Inquiry had also indicated this. But only "circumstantial evidences are suggestive of Alprazolam poisoning", the post-mortem report says.
Sunanda, 52, was found dead inside Leela Palace hotel in Delhi on January 17."

Update on 2nd March:

The minister has started saying that he will not respond to 'the smear campaign' against his wife launched by the left parties in Kerala. He is obfuscating here. The campaign is against him and not against his departed wife.


Anonymous said...

The quick cremation and the long time between arrival of the minister at the hotel and finding the body are troubling. One has to assume that the truth has died with her.


I have 2 observations regarding this case
1)she had a Twitter spat with Mehr Tharar, a Pak journalist, over an alleged affair between them.
2)long ago, before the occurrence of this event, a news surfaced in the media saying that ISI has influence over top ppl in Indian govt by honey trap.
Wondering whether these two things have a connect with each other and with the death of Mrs.Tharoor. was that the secret she wanted to reveay? Now the agencies have to answer this.

K.R.Srivarahan said...

Muthu Prasanth, there are many loose ends in this episode. The then government apparently had reasons to hush up the case. I wonder why the NDA government is equally keen that we should not know the truth. Shame on our institutions !


2 pts sir..
1) behind the screen dealings
2) govt fears a sympathy wave favouring gandhis if they act on them.
These ppl have to act bold to pull the crowd and act diplomatic to run the government. This is what Trump is also doing now. He too will be diplomatic once he attain the throne.


2 pts sir..
1) behind the screen dealings
2) govt fears a sympathy wave favouring gandhis if they act on them.
These ppl have to act bold to pull the crowd and act diplomatic to run the government. This is what Trump is also doing now. He too will be diplomatic once he attain the throne.

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