A sub-divisional magistrate began an inquest on Saturday into the death of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Union Minister Shashi Tharoor. The inquest began after a three-member post-mortem team, led by All-India Institute of Medical Sciences Forensics head Sudhir Gupta, found that her death was “sudden and unnatural.”
Alok Sharma, the sub-divisional magistrate, recorded statements from two domestic staff, a driver, Ms. Pushkar’s brother and son, even as she was cremated at the Lodhi Road crematorium here.
The cremation was attended by Union Minister of State for Home R.P.N. Singh, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, former Rajasthan Tourism Minister Bina Kak, diplomats and celebrities.
In a letter to Dr. Tharoor, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the “loss of one’s companion is indeed irreparable but I would like you to know that we are with you in this hour of grief.” Congress president Sonia Gandhi called on Dr. Tharoor at his home after the cremation.
Sources involved in the post-mortem told The Hindu that whilethe cause of Ms. Pushkar’s death would be known after a toxicology report, there were signs of overdose of a prescription psychiatric medicine.
The post-mortem also found that Pushkar did not die of autoimmune disorder Lupus, or tuberculosis, for which she was being treated at a Kerala hospital.
Dr. Gupta told journalists there were no signs of poisoning, but there were bruises on her body.
Though he declined to say how she sustained them, hospital sources said she suffered the bruises 48-72 hours prior to her death.