New Delhi: The mysterious case of Sunanda Pushkar grew murkier on Thursday with senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and noted lawyer Subramanian Swamy claiming that the death of former Union Minister and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s wife could be linked with money laundering in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Talking to a news channel Swamy said that days before her death Pushkar had wanted to call a press conference to reveal certain details regarding IPL’s Kochi Tuskers Kerala franchise. These revelations, he felt, could have hurt the interests of many high and mighty who then wanted her eliminated.
Swamy also claimed that though Tharoor was aware of the murder, the Thiruvananthapuram MP wasn’t involved in it.
Swamy has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a CBI probe into Sunanda Pushkar’s death.
He said that in his letter to the PM, he has suggested setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) which should include members of the Intelligence Bureau and as well as the Enforcement Directorate “in view of the fact that the cause of death could have something to do with her threat of disclosure of the money laundering in the IPL scam, involving the son-in-law of a powerful political figure of the UPA”.
“I urge you to set up a SIT under the Central Bureau of Investigation with not only IB and RAW nominees but also of the Enforcement Directorate in view of the fact that the cause of death could have something to do with her threat of disclosure of the money laundering in the IPL scam, involving the son-in-law of a powerful political figure of the UPA,” the letter said.
Swamy in his letter said the death has been “hanging fire till today” and that the “FIR registered in the matter has not been acted upon and the final report has yet to be filed”.
In his letter, he mentioned the post mortem report, which had stated that Pushkar had 12 major injuries on her body and forearm. Swamy said “it seemed like an injection” was administered to her.
It further said an affidavit filed in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) by Gupta has fully re-opened the issue. “Hence in these circumstances, a SIT inquiry should be set up on your direction.”
Swamy said that he could file a petition seeking a probe by the Supreme Court into Pushkar’s death.
“Sunanda Pushkar had said that if she would expose IPL deals, Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra’s name would also have surfaced. Sunanda Pushkar was killed and there should be an inquiry into it by Supreme Court,” Subramanian Swamy was quoted as saying by leading news channels.
“I am going to file a petition in Sunanda Pushkar death probe by the end of July,” the BJP leader further added.
Up to investigators to sort it out: Tharoor on post-mortem row
Refusing to comment on the controversy stirred by a senior AIIMS forensic doctor’s allegation that he was pressured to manipulate the post mortem report of his wife Sunanda Pushkar, Shashi Tharoor merely said that it was up to the investigators “to sort it out”.
“It is a process, we will leave it to investigators to sort out,” Tharoor told reporters.
Asked what he would say on AIIMS’ forensic department’s head Dr Sudhir Gupta’s allegations, Tharoor only said, “Nothing to say about anything about that person.”
Meanwhile, Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi said that they want that investigations in the case should be completed as soon as possible while reiterating that if needed they will examine Tharoor and Dr Gupta.
“Delhi Police wants investigations in this case to be completed as soon as possible. If it is necessary, both Dr Gupta and Tharoor will be questioned,” Bassi told reporters here.
Asked if Delhi Police has given a clean chit to Tharoor in the case, Bassi said, “Once we completed our enquiry, we will only then know. And, for the time being, our investigation is on.”
On being asked if Tharoor has written a letter to him to expedite the probe, Bassi said he was, so far, not aware of it, adding that he has got to know about it through media reports.
Rejecting the charge of Dr Gupta, who headed a three- member team that did the post mortem on the body of Tharoor’s wife Pushkar, who was found dead in mysterious circumstances in a hotel here in January this year, the AIIMS had yesterday said it “categorically denies” his claim.
In a press conference, AIIMS spokespersons Amit Gupta and Neerja Bhatla had yesterday said that there was no evidence that any pressure from outside was put on Dr Gupta to alter the autopsy report.
Pushkar, 52, was found dead in suite 345 of south Delhi’s Leela hotel on January 17 this year. Her body was reportedly found by Tharoor around 8pm, when he returned to the hotel after attending a meeting of the All India Congress Committee.
The post mortem report had said the cause of death was “sudden” and Pushkar died of “drug overdose.”
The autopsy report had shown “Alprazolam poisoning” and also stated that “all the injuries were caused by blunt force, simple in nature and not contributing to death, produced during a scuffle.