FBI report rules out ‘polonium poisoning’ of Sunanda: Delhi Police


No unusually high radiation levels in Sunanda Pushkar’s viscera samples have been found, an FBI report from the US has stated, thus effectively ruling out her death due to ‘polonium poisoning’.

Giving this information, Delhi Police Comissioner BS Bassi said on Wednesday that radiation levels in Sunanda’s viscera samples were “within the standard safety norms”.

Delhi Police on Wednesday shared the findings of an FBI report. Bassi said that the report from the Washington DC-based laboratory would now be handed to a medical board for it to be examined.

Sunanda was wife of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, a Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram. She was found dead in a luxury hotel in Delhi on January 17 last year under mysterious circumstances. Police registered a murder case on January 1, 2015.


“I understand that the report has been received. The FBI lab had conducted analysis of various substances. And this should give an indication (as to the reason behind her death) once the doctors go through the report,” Bassi told reporters.

About the radiation levels in Sunanda’s samples, Bassi said that it was “within the standard safety norms” and added that the findings would have to be “correlated with the post-mortem report”.

The FBI report, received nine months after the samples were sent for examination, has named the alleged poison that led to Sunanda’s death.

Sunanda’s viscera samples were sent to the FBI lab in Washington in February to examine the kind of poison that killed her. That was after an AIIMS medical board identified poisoning as the reason behind her death, though it did not mention any name.

AIIMS forensic head Sudhir Gupta on Wednesday stuck to his opinion that poisoning was the cause of Sunanda’s death. But he said that the “domain is much more large” when asked whether Polonium-210, a radioactive isotope, had caused her death.

“There are findings that confirm that the death was due to poisoning. We concluded by eliminating the other causes of her death,” Gupta said.

Sunanda was found dead inside her suite at a five-star hotel in New Delhi, a day after she was involved in a spat with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar on Twitter over the latter’s alleged affair with her husband Tharoor.