New Delhi: Sanjay Dewan, a family friend of Shashi Tharoor and his wife Sunanda Pushkar and a key witness in her mysterious death case, today said they were a “happy couple” and he was not aware whether she was suffering from any ailment.
“Since 2006, I have known Shashi Tharoor, after he got married to Sunanda. For what I have known of them, they were a happy couple. Yes, like every couple has a little bit of tiffs, they would also be having but to my knowledge, there was nothing which could be termed as a fight,” Dewan told a TV channel today.
Asked whether Sunanda was suffering from Lupus or any other ailment Dewan said “not to my knowledge. I was a friend of theirs and the last time I met them was a month and a half before this incident. So I was not meeting them on a daily basis.”
He also said that he has been called thrice so far by the police for questioning, “Probably the most number of times. Asked why police call him again and again, he said “I happened to be there at the time which happens to be important to them.”
Explaining the happenings of January 17 when Sunanda was found dead in a five star hotel suite in south Delhi, Dewan said “I reached the hotel at around 5 PM and Tharoor came around 7:30 PM. Tharoor checked on Sunanda around 7:45 PM and said that something has happened to her following which the hotel staff arrived within minutes.”
Asked who all were there when it happened, he said “there were four people, Mr Sharma (Tharoor's personal assistant Rakesh Kumar Sharma), Bajrangi, Narayan Singh (both Tharoor's domestic helps) and myself.”
According to Dewan's statement before the SDM who had carried out inquest proceedings in the case, he had twice called a doctor from Ganga Ram Hospital to check on Sunanda before she was found dead at 6:55 PM and then 7:20 PM on January 17. Also, it was he who had called the hotel doctor who declared her dead.
Dewan's presence at the crime scene and his key role in calling doctors for Sunanda is the reason why the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed in the case has been questioning him several times.
He also said that he had sent a message to Tharoor, a day earlier which he did not respond to (initially) and responded late in the night and the next day in the morning when I was on my way to Mumbai, I sent him a message asking how Sunandaji was feeling and I was told that she was not well and as a friendly gesture I offered if I could do anything and Dr Tharoor accepted and said if I could come and persuade Sunanda to be normal - normal in the sense - to eat something…
“And this was all through SMS and then I cancelled my trip to Mumbai and I was in touch over the SMS. He had given to me the number of his servant Narayan and I was in touch with Narayan also and each time I was told that she was sleeping. Around 4:30 PM, Narayan told me that Sunanda ji was about to get up and I could come if I wanted to and I decided to go to the hotel,” he said.
Delhi Police had on January one registered a case of murder in connection with Sunanda's death under Section 302 of IPC on the basis of an AIIMS medical report that concluded that her death was unnatural and due to poisoning but did not reveal the nature and the quantity of the poison.