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Shashi Tharoor gets clean chit, autopsy report says drug overdose killed Sunanda

By Sushmita Dutta | Last Updated: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 01:08

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Hours after the autopsy report of Sunanda Pushkar was out and given to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate Alok Sharma by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) stating drug overdose may have caused her death, Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor got a clean chit into the matter based on a witness testimony, police sources said on Monday.

A three-member team of AIIMS had today submitted the autopsy report of Tharoor`s wife Sunanda to the SDM, who is investigating the death of Sunanda under mysterious circumstances in a five-star hotel here, was also accompanied with a team of Delhi Police officials.

Taking the investigations into her death further, the Delhi Police today scanned the video footage of Leela Palace hotel to check Sunanda Pushkar`s movements which showed that she never came out of her room no 345 after January 16.

The CCTV footage of the corridor of the floor of her suite shows she was last seen in the hotel lobby on January 16 when she had come to attend a phone call.

But after January 16, she never came out of her room, police sources said.

However, refusing to disclose the details of the autopsy report, Sharma said he would examine it along with the statements of various people including Tharoor and Sunanda`s brother and other evidence tomorrow.

"On this basis I will conclude what was the cause of death and submit a report to the police whether a case is to be made or not surrounding the death and whether police should carry out further investigation or not," Sharma said.
Meanwhile, police sources said two strips of anti-depressant drug alprozalem, commonly known as alprax, were found in the hotel suite where she was found dead on Friday evening.

At least 27 tablets may have been consumed by her, probably in a short time, the sources said adding evidence of it was available from the emptied strips.

Medical experts say that consumption of alprozalem tablets in large quantities at a time hampers functioning of the brain and leads to a comatose situation.

Police officials said they were awaiting the SDM`s report before they could decide on their future action.

The SDM had a detailed discussion with the doctors after collecting Sunanda`s autopsy report.

A three-member team of AIIMS had conducted the post mortem on Friday which was also video recorded.

The hospital sources had informed yesterday that there was no trace of alcohol in the body of Sunanda though some evidence of presence of anti-depressant drug was likely found. Presence of Alprazolam, which belongs to a group of psychoactive drugs used as sedatives was likely found from Sunanda`s body.
Earlier, Dr Sudhir Gupta, the head of the Forensic Sciences Department (AIIMS) had said, "The post mortem of Sunanda Pushkar has been satisfactorily completed and samples have been taken for tests related to toxicology and pathology. There are injury marks on Sunanda`s body. We are focusing on the angle of sudden, unnatural death."

Shashi Tharoor had already recorded his statement before the SDM yesterday.

52-year-old Sunanda was found dead in a south Delhi hotel suite on Friday night, two days after her twitter spat with a Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar over an alleged affair with Tharoor. However, Sunanda and Tharoor had issued a joint statement declaring they were happily married.

A probe into her death has been ordered by the sub-divisional magistrate of the area.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde today asked the police to conduct an expeditious probe into the death of Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor.

First Published: Monday, January 20, 2014 - 17:56

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