In yet another twist in his wife’s death, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has accused Delhi Police of “assaulting” and “intimidating” his domestic help into “confessing” that they both killed Sunanda Pushkar as police said it believes prima facie it is a case of murder.
A Special Investigation Team has been constituted to probe Sunanda’s death, said Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi to whom Tharoor had written a letter on November 12 last year alleging police pressure on his domestic help Narayan Singh.
In the letter, the former Union Minister had complained of “unacceptable and illegal” conduct by one of its officers who “repeatedly physically assaulted” his domestic help Singh to force him to confess that they both murdered her.
Tharoor said he and his staff had “cooperated fully” with the police probing the case.
“I was therefore shocked and appalled to learn that in the course of the 16-hour interrogation conducted by four Delhi Police officers on Friday (7/11/14) and again during the 14- hour interrogation on Saturday (8/11/14), my domestic helper Narayan Singh was repeatedly physically assaulted by one of your officers.
“Worse, the officer used the traumatic physical assault to try and intimidate Narayan into ‘confessing’ that he and I murdered my wife,” Tharoor said in the letter.
Tharoor also referred to his telephonic conversation with Bassi on November 8 when he had expressed his concerns about the alleged police action.
“As you graciously agreed, such conduct is completely unacceptable and illegal. It also amounts to the use of physical coercion in the attempt to frame an innocent man. I would request you to take immediate and appropriate action against such unlawful misconduct of the officer concerned,” he said.
The Delhi Police, which had yesterday registered a murder case into Sunanda’s death under section 302 of the IPC on the basis of an AIIMS medical report, today said the SIT has finalised an “action plan” to investigate the case and did not rule out questioning Tharoor soon.
“When we file a case under Sec 302 of IPC, it means we have prima facie reasons to believe that it is a case of murder,” Bassi told reporters on being asked whether police have any evidence that it was a case of murder.
The AIIMS report had concluded that her death was unnatural and due to poisoning basede on which police registered a case of murder in Sunanda’s death.
51-year-old Sunanda was found dead in a five-star hotel in the national capital on January 17 last year.
Dr Sudhir Gupta, the head of the AIIMS medical board, which had done the postmortem, today maintained that their report did not mention “homicide” in the findings that held “poisoning” as the cause of death.
“Our report doesn’t mention the death is homicidal in nature. It is due to poisoning. Police had sought an opinion in the matter and we have already given it. Now it is for the police to probe further,” head of the medical board Sudhir Gupta here said.
Asked about Tharoor’s allegations, Bassi said, “if there is anything of that sort, we will definitely look into it.”
In the letter, Tharoor had reiterated that he has “complete trust and faith” in the Delhi Police and that he was committed to fully cooperate with the investigations to ensure the timely completion of the inquiry.
“My staff and I have always made ourselves available for any kind of inquiry and investigation, but the recent behaviour of the officers towards my staff is a matter of serious concern to any law-abiding citizen.