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Indian police are treating the death of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of former minister Shashi Tharoor, as murder, nearly a year after her body was found in a hotel room.

Sunanda Pushkar’s death was “not natural and was due to poisoning,” Delhi police chief BS Bassi said.

Initially, doctors said she might have died from an overdose of drugs.

Shashi Tharoor, an Indian lawmaker who married the former Dubai-based businesswoman in 2010, said he was stunned by the news.

“Needless to say I am anxious to see this case is investigated thoroughly and continue to assure the police of my full co-operation,” he said in a statement.

“Although we never thought of any foul play in the death of my wife, we all want that a comprehensive investigation be conducted and that the unvarnished truth should come out.”

BS Bassi said the police had received a “final report” from the doctors saying that Sunanda Pushkar had been poisoned.

“The poison could have been administered orally or it could have been injected. To proceed further in this matter, we have decided to register a case of murder,” he said.Sunanda Pushkar and her husband, Shashi Tharoor, in July 2012


Medical samples would be sent to foreign laboratories to find out the “quantity of poison” found in Sunanda Pushkar’s body.

It is, however, still not clear what poison is believed to have been given to Sunanda Pushkar, and how she could have taken it.

There is also no clarity over the motive of the alleged murder.

Asked why it had taken the police nearly a year to treat the death as murder, BS Bassi said the doctors examining the evidence had sought “additional information” on more than one occasion, and police had provided that.

Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in a five-star hotel in Delhi on January 17, 2014.

Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar had became embroiled in controversy over a series of Twitter messages before the woman’s death that appeared to reveal he was having an affair with a Pakistani journalist.

Sunanda Pushkar and Shashi Tharoor later insisted they were happily married and blamed “unauthorized tweets” for causing confusion.

Shashi Tharoor has repeatedly called for a swift investigation into the case.

In his statement on January 6, Shashi Tharoor added: “I join all members of Sunanda’s family in asking for full information about the basis on which the police have come to this conclusion.

“We have not been provided with copies of the post-mortem report and other reports of the inquiry… We repeat our request for a copy of these reports to be provided to us immediately.”

A former UN diplomat, Shashi Tharoor was forced to resign from his first ministerial position in 2010 amid controversy over his involvement in bidding for a cricket team.

Sunanda Pushkar had allegedly received a free stake in the Indian Premier League franchise Shashi Tharoor was bidding for.

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An investigation into the death of Sunanda Pushkar, the wife of Indian minister Shashi Tharoor, has been ordered by a Delhi magistrate.

Sunanda Pushkar’s body was found in a Delhi hotel room on Friday.

On Tuesday, doctors said she may have died from an overdose of drugs.

Magistrate Alok Sharma directed police to investigate whether the overdose was deliberate or accidental.

Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar became embroiled in a row last week after Twitter messages suggested he was having an affair with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar.

Magistrate Alok Sharma told the Indo-Asian News Service news agency that he had ordered the inquiry into Sunanda Pushkar’s death after going through the findings of the autopsy report.

Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar became embroiled in a row last week after Twitter messages suggested he was having an affair with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar

Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar became embroiled in a row last week after Twitter messages suggested he was having an affair with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar

“The post-mortem report reveals that she died due to [drug] poison. But it will be too early to say before her viscera report if she had consumed poison, or the drug consumed by her acted as poison,” Alok Sharma said.

Alok Sharma declined to reveal the full findings of the autopsy, but doctors have said that the “preliminary report shows there was drug overdose”.

The autopsy also found “injury marks” on Sunanda Pushkar’s body, but did not say if they were linked to her death.

Meanwhile, Sunanda Pushkar’s son said his mother “was too strong to commit suicide”.

In a press statement released on Tuesday, Shiv Menon said media reports on his mother’s death were “untrue and outrageous” and defended Shashi Tharoor.

“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,” Shiv Menon said.

A public row broke out last week when seemingly private messages between Shashi Tharoor and Mehr Tarar were published on his Twitter feed.

Sunanda Pushkar, 52, said she had gone into her husband’s account and published the messages, accusing Mehr Tarar of stalking her husband – an allegation denied by the Pakistani journalist.

Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar later insisted they were happily married and blamed “unauthorized tweets” for causing confusion.

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Shashi Tharoor, whose wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in a Delhi hotel room on Friday, has called for a swift investigation so that the truth “emerges at the earliest”.

The Indian minister has appeared before a magistrate probing the death of Sunanda Pushkar.

An autopsy found “injury marks” on Sunanda Pushkar’s body, but did not say if they were linked to her death.

The couple became embroiled in a row on Wednesday after Twitter messages suggested Shashi Tharoor was having an affair.

Shashi Tharoor wrote to India’s home minister over the weekend urging him to “issue instructions to the relevant authorities to expedite their investigations and come to a rapid conclusion so that the truth emerges at the earliest”.

He said he was “horrified to read the reckless speculation” over the death in the media.

“I pledge my full and unstinting cooperation. Nothing short of the truth will end the indignity to which my wife and I are being subject at a time when all I seek is to be allowed to grieve in private with her and my near and dear ones,” Shashi Tharoor wrote.

Shashi Tharoor has appeared before a magistrate probing the death of Sunanda Pushkar

Shashi Tharoor has appeared before a magistrate probing the death of Sunanda Pushkar

On Sunday, Shashi Tharoor gave his testimony to a magistrate who is leading the inquest into Sunanda Pushkar’s death.

Doctors said the autopsy showed “certain injury marks on the body of Ms Pushkar, but the nature of these cannot be revealed”.

They said that initial results showed no sign of poison in her body, but more tests would be carried out.

A public row broke out on Wednesday when seemingly private messages between Shashi Tharoor and Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar were published on his Twitter feed.

Sunanda Pushkar, 52, said she had gone into her husband’s account and published the messages.

She accused Mehr Tarar of stalking her husband – an allegation denied by the Pakistani journalist.

Sunanda Pushkar and Shashi Tharoor later insisted they were happily married and blamed “unauthorized tweets” for causing confusion.

Shashi Tharoor, a former UN diplomat, was forced to resign from his first ministerial position in 2010 amid controversy over his involvement in bidding for a cricket team.

Sunanda Pushkar had allegedly received a free stake in the Indian Premier League franchise he was bidding for.

Shashi Tharoor was appointed minister of state for human resource development in 2012.

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Sunanda Pushkar – the wife of Indian Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shahsi Tharoor who was found dead yesterday in a Delhi hotel – was an Indo-Canadian entrepreneur and businesswoman.

She was a sales manager in the Dubai-based TECOM Investments and co-owner of the India-based Rendezvous Sports World.

Sunanda Pushkar was born on January 1st, 1962, in a Kashmiri family of landlords and Indian Army officers native to Bomai. She was the only daughter of Lt. Col. Poshkar Nath Dass and Jaya Dass. Her father PN Dass retired from the army in 1983.

A born rebel, Sunanda Pushkar broke the age-old tradition of Kashmiri Pandits when she attained the first name of her father as her surname albeit with some modification.  Poshkar became Pushkar and Sunanda Dass became Sunanda Pushkar.

Sunanda Pushkar was a sales manager in the Dubai-based TECOM Investments and co-owner of the India-based Rendezvous Sports World

Sunanda Pushkar was a sales manager in the Dubai-based TECOM Investments and co-owner of the India-based Rendezvous Sports World

Sunanda Pushkar graduated from the Government College for Women in Srinagar, where she studied between 1986 and 1988.

Before marrying Shashi Tharoor, Sunanda Pushkar had been married twice. Her first marriage to fellow Kashmir Pandit and hotel management graduate Sanjay Raina of Srinagar ended in a divorce in 1988. Sanjay Raina’s website describes him as “one of India’s leading stage performers and pop” and who spearheads an entertainment management company.
Later Sunanda Pushkar married a Kerala businessman, Sujith Menon, who was dealing with firefighting equipment. Sujith Menon later went to Dubai where he organized some events of south Indian film stars which however flopped. He returned and later died in an accident in Delhi. Their son Shiv was born in November 1992.

Sunanda Pushkar married Shashi Tharoor in 2010, after he was elected to the Indian Parliament. The couple had a Malayali wedding ceremony in Shashi Tharoor’s ancestral home at Elavanchery in Kerala. This was the third marriage for both of them.

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Sunanda Pushkar, who was found dead in a Delhi hotel on Friday, was seriously ill, according to a former diplomat and close friend of her husband, Indian Minister Shashi Tharoor.

TP Sreenivasan, who hails from New Delhi and has been a diplomat for more than three decades, told reporters that Shashi Tharoor had informed him of his wife’s illness.

“She had undergone treatment in France recently and after check-ups it was found that she had some serious health issues and he was a worried man. I pacified him after hearing it,” said TP Sreenivasan.

Reports said Sunanda Pushkar and Shashi Tharoor had visited a leading private hospital recently and certain tests were conducted on Pushkar.

Sunanda Pushkar had visited a leading private hospital recently and certain tests were conducted on her

Sunanda Pushkar had visited a leading private hospital recently and certain tests were conducted on her

It appears that Sunanda Pushkar was identified with suspected systemic lupus erythematosus (connective tissue disorder) and this is a disease which has no definite treatment.

Sunanda Pushkar had also undergone colonoscopy.

A doctor at the same hospital said he saw the couple quarrelling playfully.

Reports also said Sunanda Pushkar had an appointment at the hospital January 20.

Sunanda Pushkar and Shashi Tharoor were married at Tharoor’s 200-year-old ancestral home in Palakkad in August 2010.

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Shashi Tharoor’s wife, Sunanda Pushkar, who was found dead in a Delhi hotel room on Friday, died a “sudden and unnatural death”, an autopsy has found.

Shashi Tharoor, who was earlier admitted to hospital with chest pains, took his wife’s body away for cremation.

Sunanda Pushkar and Shashi Tharoor caused a media stir on Twitter on Wednesday with a series of messages appearing to reveal he was having an affair with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar.

Sunanda Pushkar and Shashi Tharoor caused a media stir on Twitter on Wednesday with a series of messages appearing to reveal he was having an affair

Sunanda Pushkar and Shashi Tharoor caused a media stir on Twitter on Wednesday with a series of messages appearing to reveal he was having an affair

They later insisted they were happily married, blaming “unauthorized tweets”.

The full results of the post-mortem examination are due to be released in the next two days.

Shashi Tharoor’s aide, Abhinav Kumar, had earlier told reporters that Sunanda Pushkar had appeared to be asleep.

“There were no signs of any foul play or any struggle. She had no sign of poisoning or anything,” he said.

Shashi Tharoor, a former UN diplomat, was forced to resign from his first ministerial position in 2010 amid controversy over his involvement in bidding for a cricket team.

Sunanda Pushkar had allegedly received a free stake in the Indian Premier League franchise he was bidding for.

Shashi Tharoor was appointed minister of state for human resource development in 2012.

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Shashi Tharoor – the Indian minister of state for human resource development whose wife Sunnada Pushkar was found dead on Friday – has been taken to hospital with chest pain.

Shashi Tharoor, 57, had been admitted in the morning and was now stable, a Delhi hospital spokesman said.

The ministere is being treated at the same hospital where his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s post-mortem examination is to be carried out in a few hours.

Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in a Delhi hotel, following reports that Shashi Tharoor was having an affair.

Police have already questioned a number of hotel staff as they continue their investigation.

The couple became embroiled in controversy over a series of Twitter messages on Wednesday that appeared to reveal Shashi Tharoor was having an affair with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tahrar.

Shashi Tharoor is being treated at the same hospital where his wife Sunanda Pushkar's post-mortem examination is to be carried out in a few hours

Shashi Tharoor is being treated at the same hospital where his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s post-mortem examination is to be carried out in a few hours

They later insisted they were happily married, blaming “unauthorized tweets”.

Shashi Tharoor married Sunanda Pushkar, a former Dubai-based businesswoman, in 2010.

On Wednesday, messages began to appear on Shashi Tharoor’s Twitter account suggesting he was having an affair with journalist Mehr Tahrar.

Sunanda Pushkar admitted publishing the tweets, but later denied it.

She was found dead in the five-star hotel in Delhi, according to police sources.

Reports said that her husband had informed the police of her death. It was unclear how she died.

Mehr Tahrar, who denied having an affair with the minister, tweeted after she heard of Sunanda Pushkar’s death: “I’m absolutely shocked.

“This is too awful for words. So tragic I don’t know what to say. Rest in peace, Sunanda.”

Shashi Tharoor, a former UN diplomat, was forced to resign from his first ministerial position in 2010 amid controversy over his involvement in bidding for a cricket team.

Sunanda Pushkar had allegedly received a free stake in the Indian Premier League franchise he was bidding for.

Shashi Tharoor was appointed minister of state for human resource development in 2012.

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Indian minister Shashi Tharoor’s wife, Sunanda Pushkar, has been found dead, following reports that he was having an affair with journalist Mehr Tahrar.

Sunanda Pushkar is reported to have been discovered at a hotel in Delhi.

Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar became embroiled in controversy over a series of Twitter messages on Wednesday that appeared to reveal he was having an affair with a Pakistani journalist.

They later insisted they were happily married, blaming “unauthorised tweets”.

Shashi Tharoor married Sunanda Pushkar, a former Dubai-based businesswoman, in 2010.

A public row between the couple erupted on Wednesday when messages began to appear on Shashi Tharoor’s Twitter account suggesting he was having an affair with journalist Mehr Tahrar.

Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar became embroiled in controversy over a series of Twitter messages that appeared to reveal he was having an affair

Shashi Tharoor and Sunanda Pushkar became embroiled in controversy over a series of Twitter messages that appeared to reveal he was having an affair

Sunanda Pushkar admitted publishing the tweets, but later denied it.

She was found dead in a five-star hotel in Delhi, according to police sources.

Reports said that Shashi Tharoor had informed the police of her death. It was unclear how she died.

Mehr Tahrar, who denied having an affair with the minister, tweeted after she heard of Sunanda Pushkar’s death: “I’m absolutely shocked.

“This is too awful for words. So tragic I don’t know what to say. Rest in peace, Sunanda.”

Shashi Tharoor, a former UN diplomat, was forced to resign from his first ministerial position in 2010 amid controversy over his involvement in bidding for a cricket team.

Sunanda Pushkar had allegedly received a free stake in the Indian Premier League franchise he was bidding for.

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The father of Indian student who was gang-raped in Delhi and later died says her name should be made public so she can serve as an inspiration to other victims of sexual crimes.

The father told UK’s Sunday People newspaper: “We want the world to know her real name.”

Indian law protects sex crime victims by prohibiting identification.

One minister, Shashi Tharoor, has urged authorities to reveal the name so it can be used for a new anti-rape law.

The 23-year-old woman died last weekend in a hospital in Singapore from injuries suffered during last month’s attack.

The father told the Sunday People: “My daughter didn’t do anything wrong, she died while protecting herself.

“I am proud of her. Revealing her name will give courage to other women who have survived these attacks. They will find strength from my daughter.”

The laws on identification were introduced to protect victims from the social stigma associated with rape, and apply even after the death of the victim.

Although the system has not always been watertight, the high-profile case has brought a tough stance from the authorities.

The father of Indian student who was gang-raped in Delhi and later died says her name should be made public so she can serve as an inspiration to other victims of sexual crimes

The father of Indian student who was gang-raped in Delhi and later died says her name should be made public so she can serve as an inspiration to other victims of sexual crimes

Police filed a case against broadcaster Zee News after it carried an interview with the friend who was with the victim during the attack.

The victim’s friend was not named but his face was shown and police are investigating whether Zee News broke broadcasting laws relating to disclosure of the victim’s identity.

However, it remains unclear what could be done if the father chose to publicly name his daughter.

Last week, Shashi Tharoor, the junior education minister, called on the authorities to reveal the name of the gang-rape victim so that the new anti-rape law could be named after her.

He wrote: “Unless her parents object, she should be honored and the revised anti-rape law named after her. She was a human being with a name, not just a symbol.”

The Sunday People said the father had given it permission to name him and his daughter.

It carried a photograph of the father but said the family had requested no photograph of the victim be used.

In the interview, the father also renewed his calls for the men who carried out the attack to be hanged.

“Death for all six of them. These men are beasts. They should be made an example of and that society will not allow such things to happen,” he said.

Five men have been charged with abduction, rape and murder. A sixth suspect is expected to be tried as a juvenile.

A pre-court hearing for the five was held in the Saket area of the Indian capital on Saturday and the men have been summoned to appear in court on Monday.

In his interview with Zee News, the friend said he and the rape victim had boarded a bus after a trip to the cinema and after failing to flag down an auto-rickshaw.

He said the bus had tinted windows, and that he believed the group of men had laid a trap for them.

He confirmed that the assailants had later thrown them off the bus and tried to run them over.

The case has caused a national outcry, and there have been frequent protests calling for greater protection for women.

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Five men are to be charged with the kidnap, gang-rape and murder of an Indian woman on a Delhi bus last month.

The 23-year-old medical student died at the weekend from injuries she sustained during the December 16 attack, in an incident that sparked national outrage.

If convicted, the five could face the death penalty. They are not expected to appear in court in person.

A sixth suspect is reported to be under 18 and a juvenile. Police have ordered a bone marrow test to confirm his age.

The charges will be presented at Delhi’s Saket district court.

Although it is mandatory in India for the accused to appear in person to be charged, policemen outside the court say they will not be presented for security reasons.

The trial is expected to begin as early as the weekend, with daily hearings.

Media reports say the charges and evidence run to more than 1,000 pages, including key testimony from the woman before she died, and that police have lined up about 30 witnesses.

On Wednesday, thousands of women marched through Delhi to Rajghat – the memorial to India’s independence leader, Mahatma Gandhi – to protest against the rape and Indian attitudes to women.

Five men are to be charged with the kidnap, gang-rape and murder of an Indian woman on a Delhi bus last month

Five men are to be charged with the kidnap, gang-rape and murder of an Indian woman on a Delhi bus last month

Delhi’s Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was among the protesters, and called for stringent anti-rape laws.

The family of the victim, who has not been named, have said they would have no objection if a new anti-rape law was named after her, as suggested by India’s Junior Education Minister Shashi Tharoor.

Protests have been taking place every day since the gang-rape with protesters expressing anger over attitudes to women in India and calling for changes to the laws on violence against women.

The woman and a male friend had been to see a film when they boarded the bus.

Police said she was raped for nearly an hour, and both she and her companion were beaten with iron bars then thrown out of the moving bus into the street.

On Tuesday, police sources said the driver of the bus had tried to run her over after throwing her out, but she was saved by her friend, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.

The Indian government has been heavily criticized for failing to protect women.

According to official figures, a woman is raped in Delhi every 14 hours, while women across the country say they are frequently subjected to sexual intimidation and violence.

Since the bus attack, Delhi officials have announced a series of measures intended to make the city safer for women.

These include more police night patrols, checks on bus drivers and their assistants, and the banning of buses with tinted windows or curtains.

The government has also set up a committee under a retired Supreme Court judge to recommend changes to the anti-rape law.

A telephone helpline has been launched for women in distress, connected with police stations across the city.

But many of the protesters say that women are viewed as second-class citizens, and that a fundamental change in culture and attitudes, backed up by law, is needed to protect them.

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Indian minister Shashi Tharoor has called on the authorities to reveal the name of the New Delhi gang-rape victim so that a new anti-rape law can be named after her.

Junior Education Minister Shashi Tharoor said unless the parents of the 23-year-old medical student objected, she should be honored.

The victim died over the weekend in a Singapore hospital where she was being treated for severe injuries.

The 16th of  December attack in a bus has caused a national outcry.

The woman and a male friend had been to see a film when they boarded the bus in the Munirka area of Delhi, intending to travel to Dwarka in the south-west of the city.

Police said she was raped for nearly an hour, and both she and her companion were beaten with iron bars, then thrown out of the moving bus into the street.

On Tuesday, police sources said the driver of the bus had tried to run her over after throwing her out, but she was saved by her friend, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.

Indian minister Shashi Tharoor has called on the authorities to reveal the name of the New Delhi gang-rape victim so that a new anti-rape law can be named after her

Indian minister Shashi Tharoor has called on the authorities to reveal the name of the New Delhi gang-rape victim so that a new anti-rape law can be named after her

Police are expected to formally charge five of six suspects with murder on Thursday. If convicted, they could face the death penalty, which is rarely carried out in India.

The sixth suspect is reported to be under 18 and a juvenile. Police have ordered a bone test for him to confirm his age.

“Wondering what interest is served by continuing anonymity of the Delhi gang rape victim. Why not name and honor her as a real person with own identity?” Shashi Tharoor wrote on the micro-blogging site Twitter late on Tuesday.

“Unless her parents object, she should be honored and the revised anti-rape law named after her. She was a human being with a name, not just a symbol,” he wrote.

Social activist and former police officer Kiran Bedi supported Shashi Tharoor’s idea.

“What Mr. Tharoor has said is maybe unique to India, but is not unique in the world,” Reuters quoted her as saying.

“Many of the American laws… which have been made to perpetuate the memory or the suffering of the victim, only to remember that this is what happened and this is the spirit behind the law… I think it’s a good idea,” she said.

But some critics called Shashi Tharoor’s suggestion “deplorable” and India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party vowed to “oppose any such move”.

On Tuesday, the victim’s ashes were scatted by her family in the river Ganges.

The brutal assault of the woman has sparked massive public outrage in the country.

It led to huge demonstrations with protesters expressing anger over attitudes to women in India and calling for changes to the laws on violence against women.

The Indian government was also heavily criticized for its response to the attack, which many called “slow” and inadequate.

According to official figures, a woman is raped in Delhi every 14 hours, while women across the country say they are frequently subjected to sexual intimidation and violence.

Officials have since announced a series of measures intended to make the city safer for women.

These include more police night patrols, checks on bus drivers and their assistants, and the banning of buses with tinted windows or curtains.

The government has also set up a committee under a retired Supreme Court judge to recommend changes to the anti-rape law.

Late on Monday, the authorities in Delhi launched a new telephone helpline for women in distress. The 24-hour helpline number 181 will operate out of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s office and will be connected with all the 185 police stations across the city.

But many of the protesters say that women are viewed as second-class citizens, and that a fundamental change in culture and attitudes, backed up by law, is needed to protect them.

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