Sunanda Pushkar murder mystery: With no headway, ED now wants IPL angle probed
With no headway in the investigation for over two years as to how Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, was found dead mysteriously. The Delhi Police has now written to the ED to probe alleged financial irregularities related to now-defunct Kochi IPL franchise as part of its ongoing investigation to unravel the mystery.
It may be recalled that the 51-year-old Sunanda was found dead at a suite at Leela Palace, a five-star hotel in Delhi, on the night of January 17, 2014, a day after her spat with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar on Twitter over the latter’s alleged affair with Tharoor. Her body was found by Tharoor (then MoS HRD) after he returned from the AICC session at Talkotara stadium.
In a letter written to the Enforcement Directorate, the Delhi police asked it to investigate the matter. The Delhi Police’s economic offences wing was probing the matter, after the task was given to them during the tenure of former police commissioner BS Bassi.
The IPL controversy broke in 2010 with allegations that Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, the then MoS for Home, “misused” his office to ensure that Rs 70 crore, equivalent to 19 per cent equity in IPL Kochi franchise Rendezvous Sports World, was paid to Sunanda. However, after ex-IPL boss Lalit Modi tweeted the ownership pattern in 2010, Sunanda gave up the equity. Rendezvous Sports World was a member of the consortium that had won the Kochi IPL franchise during the auction.
Sunanda, who was not married to Tharoor then, had refuted allegations of any wrongdoing. She had also denied she was acting as the front person to Tharoor in the Kochi IPL franchise.
“I am rendering services for Kochi franchise. (I) advised them on getting IPL. I am also advising them on marketing and branding, and hence I am getting sweat equity. It is only on paper now. I have not yet got it,” Pushkar had said in a statement when the IPL controversy broke out.
The matter had also forced Tharoor to resign as Minister of State. The EOW was probing whether Sunanda was used as a “proxy” by Tharoor or someone else in the ownership of the Kochi Tuskers and that the murky ownership pattern of the team had something to do with her murder.