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Sunanda’s death report ‘inconclusive’ says Delhi police

Sunanda’s death report ‘inconclusive’ says Delhi police

New Delhi: The latest forensic evidence available in the death of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, is "not conclusive", the Delhi Police said Friday.

"The forensic report at the moment is not conclusive, our inquest status is pending," Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi told reporters here.

Pushkar's latest post-mortem examination report, leaked Thursday, stated "poisoning" as the cause of her death.

The police chief said investigators would draw their conclusion once they get conclusive evidence.

"We believe in the quest for truth and whatever is required in the quest for truth... We have been doing and will continue doing," Bassi said while answering a question about the role of the investigating officer.

"We are competent to carry out the probe...Inquest is pending...And whatever is required will be done," he added.

Despite being harried by the media, Tharoor, who was recently named by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be one of the ambassadors of the Clean India campaign, refused to comment on the fresh autopsy report.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan distanced himself from the controversy, saying it was a “medico-legal” case.

"It is a medico-legal case. This has nothing to do with the health ministry. It has nothing to do with me, I have no comments to offer," he said.

The revelation came around 10 days after the post-mortem examination report of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) was submitted to Delhi Police by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Pushkar, 52, was found dead in mysterious circumstances in her room at a five-star hotel in south Delhi Jan 17. At the time of her death, Tharoor was minister of state for human resource development.

The leaked report said that the AIIMS medical board "had thoroughly pursued the various documents that were submitted to them by the investigating officers along with the post mortem report and histopathology report of viscera after which it was concluded the cause of Pushkar's death is poisoning".

"Viscera are positive for ethyl alcohol, caffeine, acetaminophen and cotinine," it said.

The report also revealed that the medical report reserved comment on the specific poison or chemical responsible since there were a lot of limitations on the viscera report.

The first autopsy report, submitted to the sub-divisional magistrate Jan 20, had said that Pushkar had died of "drug overdose". The autopsy, carried out by three-members of the AIIMS forensic deaprtment, had also found over a dozen injury marks on Pushkar's body.

Later, Sudhir Kumar Gupta, who was the head of the forensic team, had alleged that he was pressurised to show that Pushkar's death was "natural." The allegation was denied by AIIMS. At that time, Gupta was the head of AIIMS forensic department but was removed in the wake of his allegation.

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