New Delhi(PTI): Politician Amar Singh was questioned on Wednesday for nearly two hours by a special team of Delhi Police probing the Sunanda Pushkar case after he had recently claimed that she had spoken to him about the IPL controversy a couple of days before her death.
Sources said that Singh was asked about what Sunanda had told him regarding the IPL controversy and about allegedly taking the blame for Shashi Tharoor. The former SP leader, who has been maintaining that he was a close friend of the Tharoors, was also asked about the relations between the couple and whether Sunanda had discussed anything about Tharoor’s alleged affair with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar. Singh said that he was questioned for two hours by the Special Investigation Team but refused to divulge any details.
“There is no point in hiding the truth more so when there is a matter of gruesome murder being coming to light. That does not mean that I do not wish well for Shashi Tharoor or I am accusing him of any conspiracy. After all he was my dear friend’s husband. So questioning of accusing anybody does not arise,” he said. “Whatever I knew about Sunanda, I have told the police and now I will not say anything since the matter has been taken into cognizance by SIT,” he added.
Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi said that Singh was questioned by the SIT after he had recently told media that he has certain information regarding the case. “So we have formally spoken to him. We are trying to ascertain the facts from him. We had called him today and will take all the information we require from him in this connection,” he told reporters. The police chief also said that Shiv Menon – Sunanda Pushkar’s son from one of her earlier marriages – will also be called for questioning by the Special Investigating Team soon.
Asked when the police would again question Congress MP Shashi Tharoor in this connection, Bassi said that SIT will call him soon. “As I had told you that day, we could only question him for 3.5 hours. As this case has many aspects. So in such a short duration we cannot ask him everything in that time.
Tharoor was questioned by police on January 19 at the office of Anti Auto Theft Squad (AATS) in South Delhi’s Vasant Vihar. “The team has looked into the discussion we had with him that day. Later, I have been told that we need to further question him. So the SIT is planning to soon call him for questioning,” he said. 52-year-old Sunanda was found dead in a room in the hotel on January 17 last year. Delhi Police filed a case of murder in the case on January 1 and an SIT was formed to probe the case.
Singh had claimed that Sunanda had told him two days before her death that she had taken the blame for Tharoor in the IPL controversy. “She said I have done a lot for this man. I was a happy go lucky person and I was working in Dubai and about this IPL angle I have not spoken before. Not to be blamed, I took the blame on my head. There was no wrongdoing on my part. If at all there was something to do, God knows and Shashi knows what it was,” he had said.
Delhi Police, which has registered a case of murder in the case and formed an SIT to probe it, is looking into the IPL angle and trying to figure out whether the entire controversy has anything to do with Sunanda’s mysterious death. The IPL controversy had broken out in early 2010 when Tharoor was Minister of State for External Affairs. There were allegations that he had “misused” his office to ensure that Rs 70 crore, which was equivalent to 19 per cent equity in IPL Kochi franchise Rendezvous Sports, was paid to Sunanda.
Sunanda, who was then a friend and yet to become Tharoor’s wife, had refuted allegations of any wrongdoing. She had also denied that she was acting as the front for Tharoor in the Kochi IPL franchise. Later, she quit Rendezvous Sports World after deciding to return her free equity worth Rs 70 crore to the franchise. Since registering a case on January 1, the SIT has questioned a number of people in this connection including domestic aides of Tharoor, staff of the hotel where Sunanda was found dead, family friend Sanjay Dewan and the hotel doctor who pronounced her dead.
It has also recorded the statements of several journalists in this regard with whom Sunanda had spoken a day before her death to find out whether she had mentioned to them about the IPL controversy, her husband Tharoor’s alleged relations with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar or about any plans of hers to hold a press conference. Journalist Nalini Singh had told the SIT that she had spoken to Sunanda about taking the blame for her husband in the IPL controversy following which police decided to rope in the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) to examine the business model of the erstwhile IPL Kochi franchise and to understand the controversy surrounding it.