Sunanda Pushkar Found Dead
Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar, who earlier stayed in the UAE, apparently committed suicide in Delhi's Leela Palace Hotel
Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor, wife of Indian Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, was found dead at the Hotel Leela Palace in Delhi on Friday 17 January night. Sources from the Delhi Police reportedly say that it is a case of suicide. They added that there were no external injury marks on her body and that no suicide note has been found.
It was her husband who found her dead after he returned from the All India Congress Committee session at the Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi.
The shocking incident comes within 24 hours of Sunanda being involved in an argument with Pakistani columnist Mehr Tarar following the alleged hacking incident of her husband's Twitter account.
Sunanda had called Mehr Tarar an ISI agent and accused her of trying to create trouble in her marriage.
Post this controversy, Sunanda and Shashi Tharoor had issued a joint statement on Thursday 16 January that all was well with their marriage.
Their statement had read, "It appears that some personal and private comments responding to these unauthorised tweets -- comments that were not intended for publication -- have been misrepresented and led to some erroneous conclusions. We wish to stress that we are happily married and intend to remain that way. Sunanda has been ill and hospitalised this week and is seeking to rest. We would be grateful if the media respects our privacy."
Sunanda Pushkar and Shashi Tharoor
Mehr tweeted soon after news of Sunanda’s death became public. "I just woke up and read this. I'm absolutely shocked. This is too awful for words. So tragic I don't know what to say. Rest in peace, Sunanda."
Mehr added later, "What the hell. Sunanda. Oh my God."
Sunanda, 52, had been based in the UAE in the past, working as a Sales Director with a real estate company. She had been married twice before she tied the knot with Shashi. She divorced her first husband Sanjay Raina and her second marriage to Sujith Menon ended in tragedy when he died in a road accident. Sunanda has a 21-year-old son, Shiv Menon, from her marriage to Sujith.
When Sunanda and Shashi got married in 2010, they had a reception in Dubai and Masala.com had spoken to her then.
Most recently, both Sunanda and Shashi Tharoor had visited Dubai in January 2014 for the wedding of their friend Raj Sahni with Magda.
Apparently, Sunanda checked in to the hotel on Thursday 16 January and was last seen at 3.30pm, on Friday 17 January in the hotel lobby. The house keeping staff knocked at her room's door at 7:30pm but there was no response. The room was opened with another swipe card and her dead body was found on the bed.
Shashi Tharoor's personal secretary Abhinab Kumar said after the incident, "Sunanda was found dead in her hotel room at around 8:30pm, we informed the police about the incident, she had come to this hotel since Thursday."
She was living in the hotel as there was repair works going on in her house. Sunanda had also been ill, reportedly suffering from lupus.
After the incident, Shashi Tharoor's son Ishan Tharoor tweeted, "I would request that everyone please respect our family's privacy at this moment."