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Central & South Asia

Indian minister's wife had 'unnatural' death

Cause of Sunanda Puskhar's death unknown after her body was found in New Delhi hotel room following Twitter row.

Last updated: 18 Jan 2014 12:35
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Tharoor, a former UN diplomat, married Sunanda in 2010 [Reuters]

An Indian junior minister's wife, who was found dead in a luxury hotel after exposing her husband's alleged infidelity, suffered an "unnatural, sudden death", according to a preliminary report.

The body of Sunanda Pushkar was discovered by Shashi Tharoor, the federal human resources minister, after he returned to the Leela Palace hotel from a meeting on Friday.

Doctors said preliminary results from a post-mortem examination concluded that the 52-yerar-old's death was "unnatural" but more tests would be needed to determine the cause.

One of the three examining doctors, Sudhir Gupta, also said that the results would not be known for two to three days.

"Since the investigation agency is now working on the case and there are certain issues related with injuries, it can't be revealed now. But there were certain injuries on the body," he said.

Tharoor, 57, had earlier been reported to have been taken to hospital suffering chest pains, but was in a stable condition.

Intimate messages

Pushkar's death came after a series of messages appeared on the Twitter account of Tharoor, a former UN diplomat, novelist and government spokesman.

The messages showed intimate exchanges purportedly between Tharoor (@shashitharoor) and Mehr Tarar (@mehrtarar), the Pakistani journalist, in which she professed her love for him and he said his wife had discovered their relationship.

Tharoor said his Twitter account had been "hacked". However, Pushkar later said she had published the messages after reading converstations between her husband and Tarar.

Pushkar later retracted her statement and, seeking to draw a line under the scandal, Tharoor issued a joint statement on Thursday in which he blamed unauthorised tweets and distorted media reports for the "unseemly controversy".

The statement said the couple, who married in August 2010, were "happily married and intend to remain that way".

Pushkar's body was later found in the hotel room the couple were sharing while their house was being renovated.

Tarar 'shocked'

Tarar, whom Pushkar accused of "stalking" her husband, strongly denied having a relationship with Tharoor.

Reacting to Pushkar's death on Friday, Tarar said on Twitter: "I just woke up and read this. I'm absolutely shocked. This is too awful for words. So tragic I don't know what to say. Rest in peace, Sunanda."

Tharoor is a former diplomat who spent three decades in the UN and was beaten to the post of secretary-general of the organisation by incumbent Ban Ki-moon.

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Source:
AFP
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