Indian Union Minister Shashi Tharoor’s wife, Sunanda Pushkar, was found dead in a room at The Leela hotel in New Delhi.
The cause of her death is unclear at this stage, but the police are not ruling out suicide.
The Delhi Police investigations team have taken the body for post mortem. As Sunanda Pushkar was married to the minister for less than seven years (they were married in 2010), a special magistrate probe will be carried out as per Indian laws.
Just two hours before the news of Sunanda’s death broke out, Shashi Tharoor tweeted that he was skipping Jaipur Literature Festival this year due to his wife’s ill-health.
@dataindiatweets My wife’s illness means i need to be with her&will miss all 5 events of #JaipurLitFest 2014. Have promised to atone in 2015
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) January 17, 2014
The couple were at the centre of a controversy when Shashi Tharoor had an exchange of tweets with Pakistan-based journalist Mehr Tarar.
Sunanda had reportedly threatened to divorce Shashi Tharoor after posting messages about his “rip-roaring affair” on Twitter. According to the messages, Shashi Tharoor had been having an affair with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar.
Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor, posted a series of private messages between Shashi Tharoor and Mehr Tarar on his timeline. One such message which may have been a direct message to Shashi Tharoor by Mehr read: “I love you, Shashi Tharoor. And I go while in love with you, irrevocably, irreversibly, hamesha [always]. Bleeding, but always your Mehr.”
Just 20 hours before the news of her death became public, Sunanda Pushkar had replied to Indian journalist, Rahul Kanwal, that she has Mehr Tarar’s messages to Shashi.
— SunandaPTharoor (@sptvrock) January 16, 2014
In the meantime, Mehr Tarar, the Pakistani journalist at the centre of the controversy, has expressed her shock at the news on Twitter.
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 Tarar (@MehrTarar) January 17, 2014
The Communist Party of India (CPI) has asked for a detailed enquiry in the case. Conspiracy theories have started doing rounds, and some people are sensing a foul play by Congress.
Think! Pilot, Scindhia, Reddy, Jitendra Prasad, LBS & now Sunanda Pushkar! Mysterious deaths of Congressis against Gandhi`s! #RIPsunanda”
— Puneet Arora (@puneetarora82) January 17, 2014
Sunanda Pushkar says a lot in this particular tweet pic.twitter.com/169pJ1ek6r
— Suresh En (@surnell) January 17, 2014