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Hospital: Death of Indian minister's wife 'unnatural and sudden'

By Sumnima Udas, Laura Smith-Spark and Lateef Mungin, CNN
updated 12:14 PM EST, Sun January 19, 2014
Indian Human Resources Minister Shashi Tharoor kisses his wife, Sunanda Pushkar, at the "Delhi's Most Stylish People's Choice Awards 2013" at the Oberoi Business Hotel on March 21, 2013, in Gurgaon, India. His wife was found dead in a luxury hotel after accusing him of being unfaithful. Her body was taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences for examination. Indian Human Resources Minister Shashi Tharoor kisses his wife, Sunanda Pushkar, at the "Delhi's Most Stylish People's Choice Awards 2013" at the Oberoi Business Hotel on March 21, 2013, in Gurgaon, India. His wife was found dead in a luxury hotel after accusing him of being unfaithful. Her body was taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences for examination.
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The Tharoors, a high-profile couple in India
The Tharoors, a high-profile couple in India
The Tharoors, a high-profile couple in India
The Tharoors, a high-profile couple in India
The Tharoors, a high-profile couple in India
The Tharoors, a high-profile couple in India
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Initial postmortem for Sunanda Pushkar is completed, hospital says
  • "We have sent samples for toxicology analysis to rule out poisoning," official says
  • Her death came after reports surfaced of an alleged affair by her husband

Editor's note: See more coverage on our Indian sister network CNN-IBN

New Delhi (CNN) -- The death of an Indian minister's wife after a public controversy in which she accused her husband of having an affair was unnatural and sudden, a hospital spokesman said Saturday.

Sunanda Pushkar's death came just days after Indian media reported that she had hacked into her husband Shashi Tharoor's Twitter account and tweeted that he was having an affair with a Pakistani journalist.

Pushkar died in her room in a five-star hotel in New Delhi, CNN-IBN reported Friday. Her body was taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences for examination.

"The postmortem has been completed, we have sent samples for toxicology analysis to rule out poisoning," Dr. Sudhir Gupta, head of the autopsy board at the hospital, told CNN.

Minister's wife found dead in hotel
Wife of Indian minister found dead in hotel

"This is a preliminary report but we can say that it is a case of unnatural sudden death. There were certain injuries on her body but we can't reveal details at the moment."

A final report will be concluded in a few days, Gupta said.

The couple were staying at the hotel for a few days, Abhinab Kumar, an aide to Tharoor, told CNN-IBN.

The Pakistani journalist apparently accused by Pushkar, Mehr Tarar, dismissed the affair allegation in an article on the New Delhi Television website.

On Thursday, a day before Pushkar's death was revealed, Tarar described the purported tweets as "wild allegations."

"Her tweets to me are so crazy that all I can do is laugh," Tarar said.

After Pushkar's death was announced the next day, Tarar expressed shock on her Twitter account.

"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.

Tarar spoke to CNN on Friday, expressing grief and sorrow over Pushkar's death.

"I have been up the whole night, frozen in one spot, unable to eat or even have a sip of water," Tarar said.

"She had a Twitter fight with me, and then she died. I didn't even get a chance to call her up, and clear the air," she added. "She seemed larger than life, always smiling, and the manner in which she died would haunt me for a long, long time."

Tarar also said the allegations of an affair were false.

"I had met the minister twice in my entire life and always in the presence of other people," Tarar said. "We were in touch until June and then it was reduced to an e-mail or two in weeks."

Pushkar, a businesswoman from Dubai, and Tharoor married in 2010. The couple was active in New Delhi's glamorous social circles.

Tharoor is an Indian minister for human resource and development, and a member of parliament. He is also the former minister of state for external affairs and former United Nations under-secretary-general.

CNN's Sumnima Udas reported from New Delhi, Lateef Mungin wrote in Atlanta and Laura Smith-Spark in London. CNN's Michael Martinez, Aliza Kassim and Jessica King contributed to this report.

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