India Insight

Sunanda Tharoor found dead in Delhi hotel room

January 17, 2014

Sunanda Tharoor, wife of Congress party minister Shashi Tharoor, was found dead in her room at a luxury hotel in New Delhi on Friday, police said.

“Her dead body was found in her room,” Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat told Reuters by phone. He declined to give details.

Abhinav Kumar, Tharoor’s personal assistant, said the junior minister for human resource development was at a Congress party session the entire day on Friday. Sunanda was found lying in bed in her room, Kumar said.

“There was no sign of foul play or any struggle. She had no sign of poisoning or anything,” he told reporters outside the Leela hotel.

Sunanda Tharoor’s death was reported two days after she accused Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar of stalking her husband. On Wednesday, misspelled posts apparently referring to the minister’s alleged affair with Tarar appeared on his Twitter account. Tharoor tweeted that his account had been hacked, although media reports quoted Sunanda as saying she had posted the messages.

“I completely stand by my tweets, I 100 per cent stand by that,” Sunanda later told the Indian Express paper.

On Friday, the minister and his wife issued a joint statement that they are “happily married and intend to remain that way.”

““Sunanda has been ill and hospitalised this week and is seeking to rest,” the statement said.

Just an hour before the news of Sunanda Tharoor’s death broke on TV channels late Friday, Tharoor, an avid Twitter user with over 2 million followers, said in a tweet that he would miss the Jaipur Literature festival later this month because of his wife’s illness.

Pakistani journalist Tarar said she was “absolutely shocked” by the news.

“This is too awful for words. So tragic I don’t know what to say. Rest in peace, Sunanda,” Tarar wrote on Twitter.

(Edited by Tony Tharakan and Robert MacMillan)

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