Sun, Jan 19, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Indian minister’s wife died ‘unnatural, sudden death’


In this photograph taken on March 12, 2012 ex-junior minister for external affairs and Congress Party`s Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor (R) with his wife Sunanda Pushkar arrive at parliament for the opening of the budget session in New Delhi.

Photo: AFP

The wife of Indian Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor, found dead in a luxury hotel after accusing her husband of being unfaithful, suffered an “unnatural, sudden death,” a doctor who performed an autopsy on her body said yesterday.

“More tests” are needed to determine the cause of Sunanda Pushkar’s death and the final results will not be known for two or three days, Sudhir Gupta, one of three doctors who performed the autopsy, told reporters.

He added that Pushkar’s body had “some physical injuries,” but it was unclear whether they were related to her death. The body was expected to be cremated later in the day, local media reports said.

Tharoor found his wife dead in a luxury hotel room on Friday, just two days after she accused him on Twitter and in other media of having an affair with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar.

“There were no signs of any foul play,” Tharoor’s press assistant, Abhinav Kumar, told reporters. “She seemed to be sleeping in a normal way, but later it was found she was dead.”

Tharoor was admitted yesterday to the same top government hospital where the autopsy was performed on his wife’s body after complaining of “general chest discomfort,” a hospital spokeswoman told reporters.

However, his test results were normal and he was released. TV footage showed him leaving the hospital looking ashen.

Pushkar, 52, a Dubai-based entrepreneur before marrying Tharoor in 2010, had been taking medications for various illnesses, including tuberculosis, according to local media.

In one of her last tweets, which later appeared to have been removed, she wrote: “Whatever is destined to happen will happen, will go smiling.”

Indian social media users called it the first “death by Twitter,” with the drama being played out over the micro-blogging site.

The death of Pushkar, described by friends as the “life of any party,” sent shockwaves through New Delhi’s social set.

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