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Jan 18, 2014 at 12:24am IST

Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar found dead in Delhi's Leela Hotel

New Delhi: Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor, wife of Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, was found dead at a five-star Hotel Leela Palace in Delhi on Friday night. She was found dead in room number 345 of the hotel by Shashi Tharoor after he returned from the All India Congress Committee meeting at Delhi's Talkatora Stadium at around 8 PM. Till the time the post-mortem establishes the real cause of death, it will be treated as unnatural death.

The body of 52-year-old Pushkar, a woman entrepreneur who married the Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, was found on the bed of the room. Police officials say there were no external injury marks on her body.

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Police officials are questioning Shashi Tharoor. The forensic team has collected all the phones and communication devices to know what kind of conversations she was having.

Police sources say Sunanda checked in to the hotel on Thursday and was last seen at 3.30 PM on Friday in the hotel lobby. The house keeping staff knocked at her room's door at 7:30 PM but there was no response, sources say. The room was opened with another swipe card and her dead body was found on the bed.

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Shashi Tharoor's personal secretary Abhinab Kumar said that Sunanda Pushkar was staying in Hotel Leela from Thursday.

"Sunanda was found dead in her hotel room at around 8:30 PM, we informed the police about the incident, she had come to this hotel since Thursday," added Abhinab Kumar.

The incident comes within 24 hours of Pushkar being involved in a verbal spat with popular Pakistani columnist Mehr Tarar following the alleged hacking incident of her husband's Twitter account.

Sunanda Pushkar had called Mehr Tarar an ISI agent and accused her of trying to create trouble in her marriage. Mehr Tarar expressed her shock over the tragic turn of events.

"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," she tweeted.

"What the hell. Sunanda. Oh my God," said another tweet from her.

Sunanda had been diagnosed with Lupus and stomach TB. She had a son from a previous marriage and had been helping Tharoor with his election campaign. She was living in the hotel as there were some repair works going on in her house.

A SDM level/ inquest enquiry has been ordered under Section 176 as her marriage with Shashi Tharoor was less than seven years old. Delhi Police refused to elaborate saying it is waiting for the SDM to submit a report on the case.

The post-mortem will be most likely be done at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

After the tragic incident, the couple's son Ishan Tharoor tweeted, "I would request that everyone please respect our family's privacy at this moment."

The Communist Party of India (CPI) demanded Tharoor's resignation from the Union Council of Ministers and his arrest. "He should resign from the post of the minister and should be booked and behind bars. We will take this issue before the people and will explain to them on what he has actually done. We will also look into the legal aspects of this and whether we can take up this matter legally. I would like to ask the state Congress party on whether they want to support Shashi Tharoor after all this," said CPI Kerala unit leader C Divakaran.

Another CPI leader Binoy Vishwam called it a very serious issue and said that it related to the security of the country.