Imagine a murder/suicide mystery in which the prime suspect is also accused by a high-ranking Government doctor of trying to influence the postmortem of his dead wife.
To tilt the weight of evidence against the suspect, his wife had continuously tweeted for 48 hours before her death on how he had cheated on her for a Pakistani ISI agent and how she had made up her mind to expose her hubby’s role in a cricketing scandal.
There is more to it. Before her death/ murder, the victims also called up some well-known journalists and talked about the treachery of her flamboyant husband and her determination to expose him.
The suspect, in this case, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor was also one of the last persons to see his wife Sunanda Pushkar alive.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]here is a plethora of circumstantial evidence which makes Shashi Tharoor the prime suspect in Sunanda’s death on January 17, 2014. And yet Tharoor has neither been put through custodial interrogation nor has he been subjected to a lie detection test as was done in the case of three other suspects. So, why this special treatment to the man, who could have been “exposed”, had his wife been alive?
When on June 2015, Dr. Sudhir Gupta, head of AIIMS forensic department, alleged a “tacit understanding” between institute’s Director Dr. M C Mishra and Tharoor for influencing the post-mortem report of Sunanda’s death, the arrest of the Congress MP looked imminent. After all Gupta is a high-ranking government doctor, who was making a sensational charge that Tharoor was trying to tamper with the evidences.
There was every reason to take Gupta’s complaint seriously. Further, he also wrote to Union Health Minister JP Nadda, alleging existence of certain emails which could expose the “tacit understanding” between AIIMS Dr MC Mishra and Tharoor over the post mortem.
“I was asked by Dr. Mishra to give a post mortem report of late Sunanda Pushkar as natural death which was contrary to the findings,” he said in his letter dated May 28, 2015.
Dr. Gupta was supported by Dr. Adarsh Kumar, who was also a member of the board of doctors which conducted the post mortem. Kumar said they were asked to give the manner of death as “natural” in contradiction to the post mortem findings, which concluded that it was a case of death by poisoning.
According to the AIIMS Panel, headed by Dr. Sudhir Gupta, Pushkar died after being poisoned by Polonimum-210 or Po-210.
Expectedly, the AIIMS rejected the allegations, saying they were “baseless”, but everyone knows how high-profiled cases are botched up in this country.
The charge, even if it was denied should have alerted the police. The least they could have done was to take Tharoor in custody and interrogate him thoroughly as they would have done in similar cases.
The role of the Police has come under scanner again after, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Saturday accused Police Commissioner BS Bassi of not revealing the exact chemical compound that was responsible for her death.
“Police Commissioner is not telling the media that the FBI found the presence of heart arrest injectable poison lidocaine in Sunanda body,” Swamy tweeted.
Bassi on Friday confirmed that that Sunanda’s death was “not natural”, based on a report by an AIIMS medical board, which had analysed the FBI’s findings of her viscera samples.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]U[/dropcap]nder the circumstances, the million dollar question is: Why was Tharoor not treated like any other suspect when the police have such strong circumstantial evidence against him?
Why Tharoor is a suspect:
- Before her death on January 17, 2014, Sunanda tweeted that Tharoor was having an affair with a Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar. Sunanda also alleged that Mehr was an agent of the ISI.
- Sunanda also claimed she had owned up Tharoor’s crime in the Indian Premier League (IPL) scandal and would soon expose it. Sunanda had received sweat equity of Rs.70 cr ($10.39 million) in IPL franchise Rendezvous Sports World, which bid for Kochi Tuskers Kerala. Tharoor was forced to resign from the union Cabinet in 2010 after he faced allegations that the sweat money his wife received was kickback to him.
- On June 2, 2015, Dr. Sudhir Gupta, head of AIIMS forensic department, alleged that Tharoor and AIIMS Director were in a tacit understanding to manipulate the postmortem report of Sunanda’s death.
- On January 20, well-known journalist Nalini Singh told the Delhi Police’s Special Investigating Team that Sunananda had revealed to her that she had taken the blame for Tharoor over the controversy surrounding the IPL Kochi team. In her statement, Nalini Singh said when she spoke to Sunanda a day before her death over phone, she was very unhappy over Tharoor’s alleged affair with Mehr Tarar.
- Another well-known journalist Rahul Kanwal, who spoke to her over phone day before her death, made the following statement before the police. “She was distraught when I spoke to her. ‘I have tuberculosis in my stomach’ she told me and added, ‘I’m going to die very soon. But before going I’m going to expose Shashi for what he’s put me through. I will take him down.'”
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