New Delhi, Feb 13: Sunanda Pushkar was worth Rs 93 crore as per her own declaration and she had once said, 'I love making money and I get a kick out of buying things myself.'
This was in response to the various allegations hurled at the time of the IPL in which was accused of acting as a proxy for her powerful politician husband Shashi Tharoor.
Sunanda is gone today but the money trail lingers on and has become extremely centric to the probe of her murder. Shashi Tharoor who has been questioned four times now was repeatedly asked questions about the money transactions involving him and his late wife.
Sunanda knew it was coming
An official associated with the probe tells oneindia that the murder was probably planned 8 months in advance. It is probably one of the smartest murders of recent times and every attempt was made to wipe out the trail.
Right from the lady at the hotel who spotted Sunanda's dead body first quitting her job and then fudging the medical reports, every detail was taken into consideration to ensure that no trail led up to the killers.
The officer says that based on the accounts given by various persons, Sunanda had a fair idea that something bad was coming upon her. She had made desperate attempts to meet several high profile personalities.
She wanted to reveal everything and how she was being pressurized to hold large sums of money belonging to several persons. However she backed out at the last minute due to the looming threat.
Money the only motive
If one would analyse the growth of Sunanda Pushkar it becomes clear that she came back with renewed zeal in the year 2004. She had undergone a loss after she had organized a show in Kerala.
She however returned to Dubai and gradually built up assets which at the time of her death were valuated at around Rs 93 crore. There was something clearly wrong after the IPL transaction, the investigating officer says. We are trying to ask Shashi Tharoor who she was in touch with and whether there was any sort of pressure from those quarters.
Was she holding money for many others and were they blackmailing her is also something that Tharoor was asked. Tharoor who has been questioned four times now was also asked if her had asked her to hold any money and were the fights because she was refusing to give it back?
An underworld link
The police say that they are ruling nothing out for now. Whether there was a direct or indirect connection with some elements in the underworld will also be probed. There are several names especially of those based out of Dubai which has come up.
We have sought information on those persons and want to check their antecedents and connections too, the officer informed. While the forensic evidence may take some time to come back from the United States of America, we will continue to find out the motive as that it more important.
Who pressurized the hotel staff, police and the doctors?
While revisiting the case after it had initially been declared as a case of suicide, various names of persons who had pressurized those associated with the case have come up. There are a few politically connected persons who have tried to influence the probe.
Some of the family members had expressed anguish over the manner in which the case was being handled and were even more surprised when it was closed in such a hurry. Sunanda had after all made indirect references to the sort of pressure she was under with some family members which led them to believe that there was foul play in her death.
After the incident was reported for the first time, some officers had in fact expressed their willingness to probe further. However there was an abrupt closure of the case and the matter had come to a close.
Some officers even argued that the body should not be cremated when the death has occurred under suspicious circumstances. However with the quick conclusion that it was a suicide, none paid heed to the advise of some officers, investigators have also found.
Tharoor will be questioned again
Shashi Tharoor who was questioned for the fourth time will be called in once again. He had visited the police station today and answered a couple of questions. However he sought permission as he had to leave for Kerala for a couple of days.
Tharoor has been instructed by the police to keep them in the loop or seek their permission before he leaves Delhi. Police sources say that he will need to come back as there are more questions for him.