Wife of Indian minister found dead in hotel room after Twitter row

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 17, 2014 1:32 PM

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - - The wife of an Indian government minister was found dead in a New Delhi hotel room on Friday, police said, days after she was involved in a row with a Pakistani woman journalist over Twitter.

It was not immediately clear how Sunanda Puskhar Tharoor, wife of junior human resource development minister Shashi Tharoor, had died, Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said.

"She was lying in bed. There were no signs of any foul play or any struggle … She had no sign of poisoning or anything," the minister's personal assistant Abhinav Kumar told reporters gathered outside the hotel.

The death came after Sunanda, 52, was embroiled in a spat with a Pakistan-based journalist, Mehr Tarar, whom she accused of stalking her husband in a series of Twitter posts.

Tarar denied she was having an affair with the Indian minister and hit back at Sunanda for making what she said were wild allegations.

On Thursday, the Indian couple issued a statement saying they were distressed by the controversy caused by unauthorized use of their Twitter accounts. They said they were happily married and intended to stay that way.

Tharoor, a former U.N. diplomat, married Sunanda in 2010. The same year he had to resign from his first ministerial job over allegations of wrongdoing in bidding for a cricket team in the Indian Premier League.

(Reporting by Vipin Das M and Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Gareth Jones)