Sunanda Pushkar death row: AIIMS doctor claims he was forced to declare death natural; AIIMS denies claims

The mystery behind former union minister and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor‘s wife Sunanda Pushkar‘s death refuses to die down. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Forensic department head Dr Sudhir Gupta who conducted the autopsy has claimed that, he was forced to say the death of Sunanda Pushkar was ‘natural’.

Dr Sudhir Gupta said that due to vested interest, there was a malafide agenda to oust him from his position for taking a “professional position which went against vested interests.” Pushkar was found dead in Hotel Leela in New Delhi under suspicious circumstances on January 17 this year. There were many theories doing the round as there were injury marks on her body and medicines too were found in her room.

Dr. Sudhir Gupta said, “”I was under pressure not to speak on autopsy details without discussing with top quarters of government. As a medical practitioner, I thought it is unfair to change my view on any autopsy. I gave correct statement to media after autopsy and was not biased. I gave representation to minister to save myself from departmental politics”.

AIIMS was quick to issue a denial.

Union Health Minister, Harsh Vardhan said, “After I became the Health Minister, Dr Sudhir Gupta of AIIMS had written to our department regarding his promotion. But after TV channels yesterday said that he has made a specific allegation, I have written to the AIIMS Director seeking detailed information in this regard.”

While asked about the issue, he refused to comment on it and said, “I have asked the director of AIIMS to send me a detailed report in this matter. I don’t remember him having made any allegations that he is making right now. I have requested the AIIMS director to give me a detailed report. I don’t know his allegations, I receive lots if representations every day. But now we are looking into it.”

Although, Tharoor earlier had refused to comment on the claims of Dr Gupta saying that he is concerned that a personal tragedy is exaggerated and exploited in an internal administrative dispute in AIIMS.

The Congress MP, Shashi Tharoor finally gave his take on the issue, and said, “Upon the tragic loss of my wife Sunanda and from the very beginning, I have requested for a thorough investigation by the authorities to be conducted and concluded rapidly and transparently.”