New Delhi: There was a fresh revelation in the sensational case of the death of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Congress leader and former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, with the FBI endorsing the AIIMS report of poisoning as the cause and also saying that a "dangerous chemical" was present in her body that may have killed her.
Sudhir Gupta, head of AIIMS Forensic Science department, said the FBI report also said the death was due to poisoning as was concluded by the AIIMS.
Speaking to mediapersons earlier today, Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi said that Sunanda's did not die of natural causes. "One thing is clear that the death was not natural. It was unnatural as per our investigation till now and evidence collected so far. I can say that with certainty," Bassi told reporters here.
The Delhi Police received the AIIMS medical board's 'advice' on an FBI lab report on viscera samples from Sunanda Pushkar. The report mentions that Sunanda had, in fact, died of poisoning. Bassi said the report was being studied by a special team of the Delhi Police set up to investigate Pushkar's death. The report draws from the findings of the FBI, to which viscera samples of the deceased were sent for examination in February last year.
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The move followed the AIIMS report mentioning that Sunanda died of poisoning. However, it did not mention any specific substance. Bassi today said that the FBI had ruled out the possibility of radioactive poisoning, as suggested in a post-mortem examination.
"I have no knowledge on the mention of any dangerous chemical in the FBI report. The FBI report had said none of the samples contained any radioactive material. I can confirm there's no radiaoactive material but certain other findings are there. We had given the entire report to the medical board which has examined and gave us a report," the Delhi top cop said earlier today.
On the contrary, Gupta said FBI has not completely ruled out the presence of radioactive substances in viscera samples. "But due to degraded condition of the viscera samples, they could not read the intensity of the substances."
He said the FBI analysis of stomach, spleen, liver, kidney and urine has endorsed the cause of death saying that "the same poison is present in all the viscera".
"It also endorsed the AIIMS post-mortem report saying cause of death is poisoning. However, FBI additionally mentioned the presence of a dangerous chemical which may be cause of the death if given injectable," Gupta said.
Sunanda, 53, was married to former Shashi Tharoor when she was found dead in a luxury hotel in Delhi in January 2014, days after she publicly accused him of having an affair with Mehr Tarar, a Pakistani journalist.
While an autopsy by doctors at Delhi's AIIMS hospital initially concluded that Sunanda probably died of an overdose of anti-depressant drugs, the police had maintained that she was poisoned.
Tharoor was married to Sunanda for nearly four years; it was the third marriage for both. In 2010, he was forced to resign as minister over allegations of corruption linked to the IPL cricket franchise of Kerala, his home state. Sunanda had been given stake worth around Rs. 94 crore in the franchise for free. Sunanda had described this as "sweat equity."
(With PTI inputs)