Overdose likely killed Sunanda Pushkar - autopsy

NEW DELHI Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:18pm IST

Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor (R) sits next to the body of his wife Sunanda Puskhar Tharoor inside an ambulance after a post-mortem at a hospital in New Delhi, January 18, 2014. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor (R) sits next to the body of his wife Sunanda Puskhar Tharoor inside an ambulance after a post-mortem at a hospital in New Delhi, January 18, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Adnan Abidi

Related Topics

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - An overdose of anti-depressant drugs likely killed the wife of union minister Shashi Tharoor, according to an autopsy released days after she accused him of having an extramarital affair.

Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Junior Human Resource Development Minister and former top U.N. diplomat Tharoor, was found dead in a New Delhi hotel room after she sent out tweets suggesting he was involved with a Pakistan-based journalist.

Pushkar, 52, probably died of drug poisoning, two officials said on Tuesday, citing the post mortem report submitted to a magistrate leading an inquest into the death on Friday.

There was no suggestion as to whether the overdose was deliberate or not, and no suggestion of foul play.

"The conclusion of the post mortem report was death likely due to drug poisoning," said an official at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences where the autopsy was conducted.

Television channels reported that magistrate Alok Sharma had ordered the police to conduct further investigations into the case following the autopsy report.

Sharma could not be contacted immediately but Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said it had received the post mortem report and was examining it.

The report also said there were 15 injuries on Pushkar's upper body, but these were described as small and ruled out as a cause of her death.


The couple were married in late 2010, the third marriage for both of them. Part of Delhi's social set, they were open and unconventional by the standards of Indian politicians.

Under law, a magisterial inquiry is automatic if a woman dies within seven years of marriage.

Police found used strips of anti-depressant drug alprazolam, commonly known as Alprax, from the Leela Palace hotel room where Pushkar was found dead in her bed. The medicine, used by people suffering from anxiety, sleep disorder and depression, is available over the counter in India.

"Very broadly, any medicine can be fatal if taken in large quantities," Dr Adarsh Kumar, who was part of the team that carried out the autopsy, told Reuters.

"It depends on the quantity, the route through which it has been administered, the physical and even the mental condition of the person."

Tharoor has called for a swift inquiry into his wife's death, saying he was horrified to read speculative reports about their personal lives.

Pushkar said last week she had gone into his Twitter account and posted what she said were intimate messages from Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar to expose a rip-roaring affair.

Tarar hit back saying she would sue Pushkar for calling her a Pakistani spy and denied having an affair with Tharoor. She said she was friends with Tharoor on Twitter and exchanged comments about articles she had written, but that was all.

Tharoor, a prolific author, testified before the magistrate in a closed-door session on Sunday.

(Additional reporting by Nigam Prusty; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
pvariel1 wrote:
Tharoor is encompassed with twitter trouble,
Since the beginning of his political career.
But this time it is terrible and tragic what a pathetic end!
So sad to read such incidents.
Philip Verghese Ariel

Jan 21, 2014 7:27pm IST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Shares Hit Record

Sensex, Nifty rise to second consecutive record high

Sensex surges 500 points on BOJ easing, L&T gains

The BSE Sensex and Nifty surged to record highs for a second consecutive session on Friday after Bank of Japan's surprise expansion of its massive stimulus programme raised hopes for additional foreign inflows, boosting blue-chips such as Larsen & Toubro.  Full Article 


Indian Economy

Indian Economy

India's fiscal deficit in H1 almost 83 pct of full-year target.  Full Article 

M&M Earnings

M&M Earnings

M&M Q2 net profit down 4 percent, hit by poor monsoon.  Full Article 

Ban on E-Cigs?

Ban on E-Cigs?

Govt considers ban on e-cigarettes, sale of single smokes.  Full Article 



Silver futures in India hit four-year low on global cues.  Full Article 

BOJ Policy

BOJ Policy

BOJ shocks markets with surprise easing as inflation slows.  Full Article 

Shadow Banking

Shadow Banking

China's shadow banking sector growing rapidly, third largest in world - FSB.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage