It was not immediately clear how Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor, wife of
junior human resource development minister Shashi Tharoor, had died,
Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said.
Police have launched an inquest and the body has been sent for
"She was lying in bed," the minister's personal assistant, Abhinav
Kumar, told reporters outside the luxury hotel. "There were no signs
of any foul play or any struggle...She had no sign of poisoning or
Tharoor was taken to hospital early on Saturday after he complained
of chest pain. A doctor said he was stable.
His wife Sunanda, 52, had been embroiled this week in a spat with
the Pakistan-based journalist, Mehr Tarar, whom she accused of
stalking her husband in a series of Twitter posts.
Sunanda said she had gone into her husband's Twitter account and put
out private messages that she said Tarar had sent to her husband
over Blackberry Messenger.
Tarar denied she was having an affair with the Indian minister and
said she would sue Sunanda for defamation. The scandal was splashed
on the front pages of newspapers and went viral on social media.
Tharoor, a former U.N. diplomat whose Twitter handle showed more
than 2 million followers and who has been one of the most active
users of the microblogging site in government, made no comment at
On Thursday, the Indian couple issued a statement saying they were
distressed by the controversy caused by unauthorized use of their
Twitter accounts. They said they were happily married and intended
to stay that way.
Sunanda was not well, the couple added, and asked for privacy.
[to top of second column]
Tharoor, 57, who is also the author of several books, married
Sunanda in 2010, in a third marriage for both.
Earlier that year he had been forced to resign from his first
ministerial job after accusations linking him to a company bidding
for a cricket team in the lucrative Indian Premier League from his
home state of Kerala.
Sunanda had a stake in the company at the time.
Tharoor's aides said the couple had checked into the luxury hotel
this week because of renovation work at his Delhi bungalow.
On Friday, he left the hotel room to attend a session of the ruling
Congress party in the capital but returned late in the day to find
the door locked. It was forced open to reveal the body of his wife.
The Pakistani journalist Tarar said she was shocked by the death.
"Oh my God...," she wrote in a Twitter post. "This is too awful for
words. So tragic I don't know what to say. Rest in peace."
Tharoor has stirred controversy in the past by posting a message
that he would travel "cattle class" following reports about his
(Additional reporting by Vipin Das M; editing by Clarence Fernandez)
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