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Indian Minister Seeks Swift Investigation After Wife’s Death

Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Indian minister and former United Nations official Shashi Tharoor has asked for a rapid probe into the death of his wife in an upscale New Delhi hotel last week, two days after she accused him of having an affair.

In a letter yesterday to Indian Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Tharoor called for police to expedite their report and said he was “horrified to read the reckless speculation” in local media, according to Tharoor’s office.

Sunanda Pushkar’s autopsy has been completed and the cause of death has yet to be determined, Sudhir Gupta, forensics head at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, said Jan. 18 on CNN-IBN television channel.

Tharoor, junior minister for human resources development, found his wife’s body in a room in the Leela Palace hotel, his private secretary Abhinav Kumar told NDTV television channel on Jan. 17. His wife had alleged that Tharoor was having an affair with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar in a drama that played out on their Twitter accounts.

Tharoor, a former UN undersecretary general, and his wife then released a joint statement saying they were happily married while also referring to “unauthorized tweets from our Twitter accounts.” He’s pledged full cooperation with the police probe.

In 2010, Tharoor quit as junior foreign minister after a week of opposition claims that he influenced the award of a cricket franchise to his benefit, allegations he dismissed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kartikay Mehrotra in New Delhi at kmehrotra2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Ten Kate at dtenkate@bloomberg.net

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