Sunanda Pushkar, the wife of Indian politician Shashi Tharoor, who was found dead in a New Delhi hotel room on Friday evening, died from drug poisoning that was not an accident, local media reports said late on Monday, citing a forensic report and sources at a hospital in the nation’s capital.
"The toxicology report…has revealed that death has been caused due to poisoning. Whether Sunanda took the poison herself to commit suicide or somebody poisoned her to death is a matter of police investigation," a source told The Times of India, adding that death from an accidental overdose of prescription medicines could be ruled out.
The 52-year-old Pushkar, a Canadian citizen, had been married to Tharoor for about three years, and at the time of her death, she was in the midst of a highly-publicized war of words on the microblogging site Twitter with a Pakistani journalist named Mehr Tahrar.
Tharoor, a human resource development minister in the current Congress-led government, a former United Nations official and an acclaimed author, was alleged by reports to be having an affair with Tahrar.
Last week, a day before Pushkar’s death, Pushkar and Tharoor had issued a joint statement that said they were distressed by an "unseemly controversy" about some "unauthorized tweets" and that both were "happily married and intend to remain that way.”
However, in the Twitter row leading up to Pushkar’s death, she had accused the Pakistani journalist of being a spy and a stalker, and had threatened to divorce her husband. Tahrar has denied she was ever involved with the Indian minister.
Pushkar was found dead Friday evening by Tharoor in her hotel room when he returned after attending a meeting of the All India Congress Committee, according to local media reports that also noted that a post-mortem report had found of evidence of physical injuries.
The ruling Congress party said it would wait for the outcome of a judicial probe into the death before commenting or acting on Tharoor’s involvement, DNA, a local newspaper reported, adding that Pushkar’s relatives and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the main opposition party, have demanded a detailed investigation into the incident.