Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor was intensely questioned on Monday for about four hours by a special team of the Delhi police on the circumstances leading to the mysterious death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar a year back and her spat with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar over her links with the Congress member of Parliament.
Tharoor's questioning, which started around 8 pm ended around midnight on Monday. He left in his vehicle without responding to questions from waiting media. The police too refused to divulge any details of what transpired during the questioning.
Police sources said that this was the first round of questioning and Tharoor may be called again. However, sources said that the former Union minister was asked about the 15 injuries on her body, especially injury number ten which was an injection mark as the medical report has indicated that the poison which caused her death could have either been taken orally or injected.
He was also asked about the reason of the tiff the couple had on the flight from Thiruvananthapuram to Delhi on January 15 following which she left him at the airport and checked in at Leela Hotel.
Tharoor was asked whether Sunanda was suffering from any disease and the kind of medication she was taking. He was quizzed about the empty Alprax tablets which were found in the hotel room and who used to consume it as the viscera tests were found negative for it.
He was queried whether she was suffering from Lupus (a kind of skin disorder) as was speculated.
A visibly glum Tharoor faced searching questions nearly three weeks after a case of murder was registered on the basis of a medical report that concluded that she died of poisoning.
This is for the first time Tharoor has been questioned on death of 52-year-old Sunanda by the police. He was earlier examined by the SDM who was carrying out an inquest proceeding in the case. She was found dead at a luxury hotel on January 17 last year.
A five-member Special Investigation team comprises Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Prem Nath, Additional DCP PS Kushwah besides three officers.
Tharoor, donning a blue shirt and a black jacket, reached the office of Anti Auto Theft Squad in South Delhi's Vasant Vihar area. Tharoor was issued a notice by SIT to join the investigation.
The Congress MP had a meeting with his lawyers at his residence in Lodhi Estate before proceeding to SIT's temporary office which has been heavily barricaded to keep a waiting media at bay.
The sources said that Tharoor got emotional at times as he faced a volley of questions from the SIT.
The former Union minister was also quizzed about another woman who his domestic help Narayan named in frequent tiffs between the couple. Tharoor was asked about the last time he saw Sunanda alive and the happenings on the night of January 17 when he first
found her dead at the hotel suite.
Among the questions he faced was at what time he left the All India Congress Committee venue for the hotel and what did he do when there was no response to his calls to Sunanda during the day.
He was also asked when was the time fissures started to appear between him and Sunanda and what were the reasons for it. He was asked about his visit to Dubai and his alleged meeting with Mehr Tarar there.
He was asked whether he had had any scuffle with Sunanda on the intervening night of January 16 and 17 which had led to the injury marks on her body and the broken glass pieces in the room.
The police wanted him to list out the people who had met them at the hotel and why they had called doctors to the hotel room instead of rushing her to a nearby hospital when they had found that ‘something has happened to her’.
Sources said that the police will tally his version today with what he gave to the SDM last year to see whether there are any discrepancies. Sunanda was found dead in her suite at Leela Palace hotel on January 17 last year, a day after she was involved in a spat with Mehr Tarar on micro-blogging website twitter over the latter's alleged affair with Tharoor.
Some of those questioned in the case so far include Tharoor's domestic help Narayan Singh, family friend Sanjay Dewan, the hotel doctor who pronounced her dead and hotel staff including its manager.
Sources said that police will also question in a day or two a woman journalist with whom Sunanda had spoken before her death and Tharoor's PS Abhinav Kumar who had informed the then SHO of Sarojini Nagar police station about the death.