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Updated: Sun, 19 Jan 2014 01:01:31 GMT | By The Associated Press, cbc.ca

India Minister's wife died 'unnatural death' after affair rumours



Former Indian Junior Foreign Minister Shashi Tharoor listens to his wife Sunanda Pushkar at their wedding reception in New Delhi, India. Associated Press

Former Indian Junior Foreign Minister Shashi Tharoor listens to his wife Sunanda Pushkar at their wedding reception in New Delhi, India. Associated Press

The wife of an Indian minister, whose body was found at a luxury hotel after a controversy over her husband's alleged affair with a Pakistani journalist, died a "sudden, unnatural death", according to forensic experts.

On Saturday, the body of Sunanda Pushkar, the wife of junior Human Resources Development Minister Shashi Tharoor, was taken to AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) hospital in New Delhi for post-mortem.

Body cremated

Following the examination, Pushkar's body was taken for cremation.

Tharoor, surrounded by media, accompanied Pushkar's body in an ambulance.

Outside the hospital, doctor Sudhir Gupta, the head of forensic sciences at AIIMS Hospital, told the media that post-mortem reports suggested Pushkar suffered an unnatural death.

He said there were some injury marks on Pushkar's body and he added that samples were sent for toxicology analysis to rule out the possibility of poisoning.

"We will conclude our report and opinion within a couple of days,"

The marriage of the 52-year-old Pushkar and her husband, Shashi Tharoor, made headlines on Thursday when she allegedly tweeted that her husband was having an affair with a Pakistani journalist. 

On Thursday, Pushkar and her husband released a statement saying they were happily married and that the tweets were unauthorised. It also said Pushkar was resting in a hospital.

Pushkar was resting in hospital

A minister's aide told reporters on Friday that Tharoor and his wife had moved into the hotel on Thursday as some painting work was being done at their home. 

The minister thought his wife was sleeping when he returned to their suite on Friday night after attending a meeting of his governing Congress party. But she was found dead, he said.

Pushkar on Thursday gave a series of rambling interviews to Indian TV stations in which she said she had no intention at the moment to leave her husband. At one point, a newscaster asked if she realised she was speaking on television.

The Pakistani journalist, in interviews with Indian TV stations on Thursday, denied that she was having an affair with Tharoor. She said she had met him in the past for interviews.

Tharoor was UN undersecretary-general for communications and public information under former Secretary-General Kofi Annan. His name was among those considered for the top UN post in 2006, when Ban Ki-moon was voted in.

In 2009, Tharoor won a seat in India's Parliament and later became a minister in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government. 

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