A day after police said Sunanda Pushkar was poisoned, her husband and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor alleged in a letter made public that a police officer tried to implicate him and a domestic help in her mysterious death.
In a letter to Delhi Commissioner of Police B.S. Bassi dated Nov 13, Tharoor, a former central minister, urged the police chief to take action against the officer.
Tharoor said four police officers interrogated his domestic help Narayan Singh for 16 hours Nov 7 and for 14 hours Nov 8. On both days, he alleged that Narayan Singh was repeatedly physically assaulted by an officer.
“Worse, that officer used the traumatic physical assault to try and intimidate Narayan into ‘confessing’ that he and I murdered my wife,” said Tharoor.
He quoted Bassi as telling him that the officer’s conduct was “completely unacceptable and illegal”.
The Congress leader, later nominated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as an ambassador for the Clean India campaign, said the police action amounted “to the use of physical coercion in the attempt to frame an innocent man.
“I request you to take immediate and appropriate action against such unlawful misconduct of the officer.”
He said he and his staff had always made themselves available for any investigation “but the behaviour of the officers towards my staff is a matter of serious concern to any law abiding citizen”.
The letter became public knowledge a day after Delhi Police announced that Pushkar, who was found dead in a luxury hotel here a year ago, was actually poisoned to death.
Bassi said Tuesday that this was the conclusion of the final medical report of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) which conducted her autopsy.
Pushkar, 52, died Jan 17 last year. Tharoor was a minister in the government of then prime minister Manmohan Singh. He was re-elected to the Lok Sabha in May last year.
A day before her death, Pushkar and Tharoor issued a joint statement denying reports that they had a row over the Congress MP’s alleged affair with a Pakistani journalist.
Meanwhile, a police team formed to investigate afresh Pushkar’s murder has begun work.
“The special team is looking into each and every possibility of the case. Whatever is needed will be done,” Bassi told the media.
Asked if Tharoor, now in Kerala, would be questioned, he said: “We will do, if needed.”
On Tuesday, police said a case of murder was registered against “unknown persons”.
Informed sources said that a Delhi Police team visited the Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences in Thiruvananthapuram last month to speak to doctors who had treated Pushkar.
After the police announcement Tuesday, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Communist Party of India-Marxist in Kerala asked Tharoor to quit his Lok Sabha seat.