New Delhi: Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor, the wife of Union Minister of State HRD Shashi Tharoor who was recently involved in a high profile spat on Twitter with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar, was found dead on Friday evening at Delhi's Leela Palace Hotel. Sunanda had been suffering from emotional turmoil as well as physical ailments like Lupus and stomach TB.
Her body was found by Shashi Tharoor at around 8:30 PM on Friday evening in their hotel room number 345 after he returned from the All India Congress Committee meeting. The tragic death has sent shockwaves through the national capital and the political class.
The 52-year-old Sunanda had checked in on Thursday apparently because her home was undergoing repairs. Police sources say Sunanda was last seen at 3.30 PM on Friday in the hotel lobby. The house keeping staff knocked at her room's door at 7:30 PM but there was no response, sources say. The room was opened with another swipe card and her dead body was found on the bed.
"Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in her hotel room, lying in her bed, at around 8.30 pm on Friday," said Shashi Tharoor's Personal Secretary Abhinav Kumar.
Just 12 hours ago, Sunanda had been embroiled in a very public spat on Twitter. The Twitter war was nothing short of sensational. It started after a string of tweets from Shashi Tharoor's Twitter handle which was apparently hacked and then from Sunanda. The tweets were Mehr and it was followed by a response from Mehr Tarar.
Sunanda had accused Mehr Tarar of having a relationship with her husband. She had accused Tarar of stalking her husband and of being an ISI agent. "We have a hacker and she is stalking my husband. She has hacked into my husband's computer, into my computer. She is an ISI agent," Sunanda Pushkar had said on Thursday.
Finally a Facebook post from the couple claimed that all was well. Yet just 12 hours later after the post, Sunanda was dead.
She was suffering from Lupus, and had been recently diagnosed with stomach TB. Whether her death was in fact a suicide will only be established after the post-mortem.
"Forensic experts are collecting scientific evidence," said Delhi Police PRO Rajan Bhagat.
A SDM level/ inquest enquiry has been ordered under Section 176 as her marriage with Shashi Tharoor was less than seven years old. Delhi Police refused to elaborate saying it is waiting for the SDM to submit a report on the case. The post-mortem will be most likely be done at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
From Twitter to tragedy in 24 hours, the death of Sunanda, the attractive wife of a dashing Central minister, will remain a reminder of the harsh realities and mental agony that sometimes underlie the life of power and glamour.