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Delhi Police's Status Report on Sunanda's Death Yet to Identify Cause

Delhi Police's investigation got delayed after their report failed to conclude the cause of Sunanda's death. The status report has also mentioned the number of times medical opinion was sought.

Nitisha Kashyap | CNN-News18

Updated:July 24, 2017, 7:30 PM IST
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Delhi Police's Status Report on Sunanda's Death Yet to Identify Cause
Sunanda Pushkar (L) – wife of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor (R) - was found dead under mysterious circumstances on 17 January 2014.
New Delhi: According to the status report filed by Delhi Police, the investigation into the Sunanda Pushkar death mystery is at an advanced stage, and the second meeting of the medical board, constituted by DGHS, along with CFSL and FSL, is expected to convene soon.

In the meeting, they will discuss the additional information provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Delhi Police's investigation got delayed after their report failed to conclude the cause of Sunanda's death. The status report has also mentioned the number of times medical opinion was sought.

In September 2016, a team of Delhi police visited USA to collect viscera and to discuss the observations on the quantitative estimation of Alprazolam given by the DGHS.

Prior to this, in September 2014, a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) was initiated to send the Viscera report to FBI, USA. It took Delhi Police five months (February 2015) to initiate the process and send the report to FBI. The report was sent to FBI after AIIMS medical board failed and, in its second opinion, confessed that there are certain poisonous substances which are difficult to be detected in Indian Lab.

FBI gave the report in September 2015 about the poisonous substance. The report said "Alprazolam and hydroxy chloroquine" was detected in the viscera. The bed cover and bed sheet, also sent to FBI, had nicotine, cotinine, alprazolam, lidocaine and hydroxy chloroquine.

In November 2015, Delhi Police received one more report from FBI, the result of the radio chemistry of viscera, stating that "the level of the possible contamination was found less than the values specified in the international air transport association, dangerous goods regulation."

In January 2016, the FBI report was sent to AIIMS medical board to give its Fourth and final observation. The board concluded that the excessive intake of tablet Alprazolam was the cause of Sunanda's death.

The fourth and the final medical opinion, however, did not rule out the possibility of:

a. Any injectable poison b. Death because of lidocaine c. Insulin or any other hypoglycaemic agent For the third option, a remark was made to Delhi Police to investigate and find out if any one close to the deceased was in possession of it.

On the basis of the final medical report which has multiple opinions, Delhi police against sought clarifications on certain points:

a. Pathology of the lungs of Pushkar

b. Quantity of alprazolam, which if ingested, would lead to excessive ingestion

c. Regarding the histopathology of injection mark

But Delhi police didn't receive any satisfactory answer till date, the status report, filed in the court, said.

Meanwhile, Sunanda Pushkar'a son Shiv Menon had written an email to Commissioner of Police, Delhi, asking to constitute an independent medical board to find out the exact cause of death.

Hence, in June 2016, DGHS constituted a medical board, asking it to review all documents and reports. The independent medical board gave its opinion in three days, ruling out the possibility of either Lidocaine or insulin being the cause of death. However, even this board didn't mention the cause of death.

Delhi Police's status report mentioned that a total of 97 people, including Shashi Tharoor, his personal staff, Pushkar's personal staff, had been examined. The polygraph test was conducted on six people. Emails of Sunanda and Tharoor were accessed and examined. Several medical opinions were sought.

Although Delhi Police are saying that their investigation is at an advanced stage, the cause of Sunanda's death remains a mystery.

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| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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