MP Shashi Tharoor accused of abetting wife’s suicide

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Shashi Tharoor, a former member of parliament from India's main opposition Congress party. Photo: Reuters/ Anindito Mukherjee

Delhi Police filed a charge sheet on Monday accusing Congress MP Shashi Tharoor of abetting the suicide of his wife Sunanda Pushkar. She was found dead in a five-star hotel in the national capital in January 2014.

The Delhi police Special Investigation Team filed a 3,000-page report to the Metropolitan Magistrate Dharmender Singh. It stated: “Since all possible and material evidence was collected and verified, it was not felt that anything will come further to arrest the accused.”

The court said that it needed time to go through the charge sheet and would put the matter “up for consideration [on whether to admit the charge sheet – and summon Tharoor] on May 24.”

Pushkar was found dead in a room in The Leela Hotel on January 17, 2014. A First Information Report was filed by Delhi police on January 1, 2015 against unknown people on a charge of murder after the post-mortem report indicated around dozen injury marks on her body. Narain Singh, a member of Tharoor’s personal staff, was a key witness in the case.

Atul Kumar Srivastava, an Additional Public Prosecutor, told the court: “The deceased was subjected to mental and physical torture. Unnatural death has taken place within seven years of the couple’s marriage.”

Tharoor has been charged under section 498A (a husband or a relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code since “death occurred in three years three months and 15 days of their marriage. This was their [Tharoor and Pushkar] third marriage. The couple married on October 2, 2010.”

But, Srivastava said that Tharoor had not been arrested so far because he is an MP in the Lower House from Thiruvananthapuram and has cooperated with the investigation when required. He urged the court to summon the Congress party politician as an accused as there was sufficient evidence to establish the charge.

After, Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter and dismissed the claims as preposterous.

 

In a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, Tharoor said that he would “stay off Twitter for a while as one encounters too much epicaricacy!” (people who get pleasure from the misfortune of others).

Congress communications head Randeep Surjewala backed him, saying: “BJP led by its top-notch leaders conspired against Shashi Tharoor and accused him of murder. A media trial by a select group of media channels was also undertaken against Tharoor. Delhi Police, which was an instrumentality of this conspiracy, which was being used as a puppet in this conspiracy to malign Tharoor”.

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