Sunanda Tharoor's death: The story so far

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Sunanda Pushkar with her husband Shashi Tharoor
The mystery over Sunanda Pushkar's death seems to be deepening further after the head of forensic department at AIIMS on Tuesday claimed that he was pressurised to give a tailor made report in the case. Dr Sudhir Gupta, who headed the panel which carried out Sunanda Pushkar's post-mortem, said in an affidavit filed in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) that he was pressurised by Shashi Tharoor and AIIMS president Ghulam Nabi Azad to cover up the matter.

Sunanda, the deceased wife of former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, was found dead in a five-star hotel in Delhi on January 17, a day after her twitter spat with a Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar over an alleged affair with Tharoor. However, after the media carried reports of the war of words on Twitter, the couple had issued a statement claiming they were happily married.

Interesting facts about Sunanda Tharoor and the ongoing controversy:

  • Sunanda Tharoor, an entrepreneur, was sales director in the Dubai-based TECOM Investments, and a co-owner of Rendezvous Sports World.
  • Born on 27 June 1964, Sunanda having an Army background, married a fellow Kashmiri Pandit and a hotel management graduate Sanjay Raina. The couple divorced in 1988.
  • Sunanda then went to Dubai in 1989 and married Sujith Menon in 1991.
  • Sunanda Tharoor had briefly worked as a receptionist during initial days. But after coming to Dubai, she started a profitable event management business and became well-known for her networking with sponsors and artists for fashion shows.
  • After a failed career as financial consultant, Sujith returned to India and died in Delhi in March 1997.
  • In the late 1990s, Sunanda and her son emigrated to Canada, where she lived with a banker companion in Toronto.
  • Sunanda met Shashi Tharoor in October 2009 at a party organised by billionaire Sunny Varkey.
  • Sunanda Tharoor came into the public life when she was seen accompanying Shashi Tharoor at social gatherings. Later in 2010, she married Tharoor after he was elected as Member of Parliament.
  • This was the third marriage for both of them. She had a 21-year-old son, Shiv Menon, from her second marriage.
  • At the time of the IPL controversy, Sunanda was the co-owner of Rendezvous Sports World, the consortium that bought the Kochi team, and it was alleged that Shashi Tharoor had used her as a shield for collecting Rs 70 crore and helping the Kochi owners get their IPL team, Kochi Tuskers. In April 2010, she had to relinquish her stake in the Kochi IPL team, estimated to be worth Rs 70 crore when allegations of corruption against Shashi Tharoor created a furore.
  • In October, 2012, Sunanda became a trending twitter topic once again when then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi took potshots at Tharoor's personal life, and said his wife was once his "50-crore-rupee girlfriend".
  • Sunanda was known to be suffering from stomach tuberculosis and Lupus, an auto-immune disorder.
  • 52-year-old Sunanda was believed to be upset over an alleged extra-marital affair between her Minister husband and Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar. The couple reportedly fought over the alleged affair which came to light when Shashi Tharoor claimed his Twitter handle was hacked. Sunanda had then told newspapers that she was considering divorcing Shashi Tharoor in the wake of the alleged extra-marital affair. On her part, Mehr Tarar denied Sunanda's allegations of her stalking Shashi Tharoor or having an affair with him.
  • On January 17, 2014, a day after the widely-covered Twitter controversy, Sunanda Tharoor was found dead under mysterious circumstances at five-star hotel in Delhi.
  • Sunanda's body was reportedly found by Tharoor around 8pm, when he returned after attending a meeting of the All India Congress Committee. 
  • The mortal remains of Sunanda were consigned to flames in presence of her family members at the Lodhi Road crematorium in New Delhi.
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