Recently this writer recalled the forty year old murder of LN Mishra to highlight the scandalous nature of India’s system of crime and justice. Has anything changed since then?
Consider how Sunanda Pushkar’s mystery death is being probed. She died ten months ago in a hotel room booked for her stay. That room was sealed by the police. Now after ten months the police are re-examining contents in the room for a forensic examination. What were police doing for all this intervening period? The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) doctor conducting the death autopsy said she had been poisoned but the poison could not be identified. The Central Forensic Science Laboratory after examination said that she had not been poisoned. AIMS stuck to its version. The Delhi police refused to confirm any probe.
According to media reports members of the hotel staff recently handed over some articles to the police. The police reopened the hotel room and after examining the room’s contents sought inquiries about all passengers who flew into the country on the day of her death from Pakistan and Dubai. The police are now reviewing the hotel camera footage of that day. The Police now are considering sending viscera samples of Sunanda Pushkar to forensic laboratories abroad to determine the poison that might have caused her death. Three mobile phones and a laptop belonging to Sunanda have also been sent to a forensic laboratory to check whether anything was deleted from the gadgets after her death. Police had not questioned a single person in the last ten months nor did it inspect the room where Sunanda died. Now the police are reportedly questioning some unidentified persons related to the event.
What kind of credibility will the findings of this investigation have once it is over? Suspicions about political pressures will especially arise given the background preceding the victim’s death. Her husband was involved in the ownership of an IPL cricket league team. There were charges of money accruing to Sunanda Pushkar related to the IPL.match fixing scandal. One day before her death and on the very day of her death Sunanda Pushkar informed two journalists, Ms Barkha Dutt and Ms Nalini Singh, separately that she was being made a scapegoat for receiving IPL related money and she would shortly spill the beans of the entire scandal to the media. After that she died. Both journalists informed audiences over TV channels what Sunanda had told them. It might also be recalled that CBI had stated that the match fixing in the IPL cricket created funds for betting syndicates controlled by Dawood Ibrahim and the money so earned was likely used for funding terrorists. The IPL Board consisting of 10 members, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, remained mute in public while IPL corruption continued for which the IPL President is being held responsible.
Can the public be blamed for concluding that political considerations have reduced this investigation to a farce?