India

Sunanda Pushkar: Delhi police question Shashi Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor listens to his wife Sunanda Pushkar at their wedding reception in Delhi, September 2010 Image copyright AP
Image caption The high-profile pair were married in 2010

Police in Delhi have questioned former minister and UN diplomat Shashi Tharoor in connection with his wife's death last year, in a case that has dominated headlines in India.

Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in a five-star hotel room last January.

Doctors initially said she might have died from an overdose of drugs but police now say her death was "not natural and was due to poisoning".

Mr Tharoor said he never "thought of any foul play" in his wife's death.

He was questioned by a team of police officials for several hours on Monday night.

"He was co-operative," Delhi police commissioner BS Bassi told reporters on Tuesday.

"We spoke to him about the background, what happened on that day and certain things said in the media. We will analyse his response and decide whether any further questioning is required," he added.

Police have insisted that Mr Tharoor is being questioned as a witness and not as a suspect, but interest in the case is very high.

In the past few days, he has been hounded by reporters and camera crews. At least one television presenter has accused him of being evasive, prompting the former minister to complain that he was "being defamed now, day in and day out".

Mr Tharoor, a Congress MP, married Ms Pushkar, a former Dubai-based businesswoman, in 2010.

The couple had become embroiled in controversy over a series of Twitter messages just before her death that appeared to reveal he was having an affair with a Pakistani journalist.

Ms Pushkar and Mr Tharoor later insisted they were happily married and blamed "unauthorised tweets" for causing confusion.

An acclaimed author, Mr Tharoor served as under-secretary general of the United Nations and was a candidate for secretary-general in 2008.

After losing to Ban Ki-moon, he returned to India and joined politics.

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