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Scan on Sunanda drug overdose but no FIR

New Delhi, Jan. 21: A sub-divisional magistrate today ordered Delhi police to probe the death of Sunanda Pushkar as her preliminary autopsy report has suggested that she died after an overdose of prescription drugs leading to poisoning.

“Her death was unnatural, so we have been asked to probe further,” a senior police officer said. “But no FIR will be registered as the family members of the deceased have not alleged that she was subjected to any harassment for dowry.”

Under section 176 read with section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code, any suspicious death of a woman within seven years of marriage needs to be investigated by the police.

The police said the autopsy report and their examination of the hotel suite where Pushkar, wife of Union minister Shashi Tharoor, was found dead on Friday night suggest that she died from poisoning after she had consumed 30 tablets of alprazolam, an anti-anxiety medication. Police had found empty strips of the drug on her bed.

The report also confirmed that she had not consumed food prior to death as the stomach did not have any food residues. There is no evidence of any foul-play, a police officer said.

Pushkar’s son Shiv Menon today issued a statement saying his mother was “too strong to commit suicide”, and that media speculation about his mother’s death is “not just untrue, but outrageous”.

“I also do not believe that Shashi was capable of physically harming her, let alone the speculation that he could have taken her life,” Menon said in a written statement.

“It was a combination of media stress, tensions, and a wrong mix of different medication. Her death was peaceful, she passed in her sleep,” Menon wrote.

In her final days, Pushkar had let loose a series of tweets accusing a Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar of stalking her husband.

Investigators will now question Tharoor and staff members of the hotel to determine how she may have obtained the medicines. The police have already seized emails that were exchanged between Tharoor and Tarar.

The post-mortem report submitted to the SDM also mentioned injury marks on both hands of Sunanda and a minor bruise on her left cheek. AIIMS doctors have said the injuries could not explain her death.

The police will also investigate how Pushkar received injuries on her body. But the police said only a final toxicology analysis of her tissue samples will confirm the identity of the drug that she had consumed.

they were very much in love: son

Statement issued by Sunanda’s son Shiv Menon:

Watching the news has devastated me to a degree that I feel I must speak out. What the media reports have been alleging and implying in regard to my mother’s death is not just untrue, it’s outrageous. Anyone who knew my mother would simply know that she was too strong to commit suicide.

I also do not believe that Shashi was capable of physically harming her, let alone the speculation that he could have taken her life. They were very much in love, despite occasional differences, which they always overcame. It was an unfortunate combination of media stress, tensions and a wrong mix of different medication. Her death was peaceful, she passed in her sleep. Please let her soul rest, I think there has been enough attention drawn towards her in life — let us at least let her rest in her passing.

 

Shiv Menon