Update: Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Union minister Shashi Tharoor, found dead in Delhi hotel

Sunanda Pushkar has reportedly been found dead in Hotel Leela, New Delhi. Her body was found in room number 345 of the hotel. The incident came to the forefront at around 8pm, after the hotel authorities informed the police.

Pushkar had checked into the five star hotel on Thursday, police said. Sources said she was last seen at 3.30pm on Friday in the hotel lobby.

The housekeeping staff had apparently knocked on Sunanda’s door at 7pm but received no response. The hotel staff then allegedly opened the room with another swipe card and found her dead on her bed, sources in south Delhi police told TOI.

I’m absolutely shocked: Mehr Tarar

Article: Twitter Controversy Shashi Tharoor’s Wife Accuses Pakistani Journalist of Stalking her Husband

For a change, and possibly for wrong reasons, the Indian National Congress party is back on social media conversations. No prize for guessing who, from the Congress, is in the news!

Over the last three day, social media circles, particularly Twitter, has become the audience to a theatrical drama involving a minister, his good-looking wife and a foreign journalist-  as if it is a potential plot for an art cinema. But in reality, its quality is not of an art cinema, but rather that of a third rate drama. Shashi Tharoor, one of the earliest active politicians and perhaps the most controversial on Twitter along with his wife Sunanda Pushkar have been trending on Twitter a day after he tweeted that his account has been hacked (allegedly by a Pakistani national).

Shashi Tharoor is Minister of State for Human Resource Development in the Manmohan Singh government. Tharoor has been in the eye of the storm several times for his expressive comments on Twitter while he held important ministerial position in the central government, including his ‘cattle class’ remark for economy class airline travelers. In the latest row, Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar has alleged that a Pakistani journalist is after her husband.

Tharoor

The mainstream media along with Pushkar, through their unspecified ‘sources’, were quick in declaring that Tharoor’s account had been hacked by a Pakistani external intelligence (the ISI) officer. It later turned out that the minister’s wife was using his account without his knowledge, aiming to shoo away a Pakistani journalist, Mehr Tarar.

Tarar, Pushkar said, was ‘stalking’ her husband through social media. Tarar, as it is known now, had interviewed Tharoor on her latest visit to India. Tarar is a 45-year-old single mother from Lahore. She has also mentioned of a ‘special person’ in her tweets earlier, who, according to many is Tharoor.

Remarkably, Shashi and Mehr have been interacting on Twitter for quite sometime now.

Funnily, while Twitter was abuzz with what was apparently termed a love triangle, Tharoor was unaware of it for several hours after the dust was settling down. He said his account was tampered with, and it really was, by his own wife.

What followed was a series of bizarre series of tweets from Tharoor’s account (accessed by Pushkar) to Tarar.

Tharoor 3

Pushkar informed a TV channel that there is no problem between her and Tharoor.

“Mehr Tarar is stalking my husband. Mehr Tarar is an ISI agent. I will ask RAW to look into this. I feel personally targeted by Pakistani journalist,”

Here’s what Mehr said to NDTV,

To reiterate her love for Tharoor, Pushkar even changed her Twitter handle to @sptvrock suggesting that she and the minister are a happy couple. In what appeared like a cinema-inspired drama, the duo later issued a joint statement reiterating their irrevocable love for each other and that they have no intention of leaving each other.

shashi tharoor sunanda statement

Meanwhile Tarar denied all allegations against her and tweeted,

Tweeple found humour and political satire in this online turmoil too. While some termed it Bollywood romance triangle, some started suggesting that India should alter its foreign policy towards the hackers’ countries, namely Pakistan and China.

Meanwhile the bitter tweets cannot be found on Tharoor and Pushkar’s accounts anymore. Pushkar had earlier said that Tarar is ‘stalking’ her husband.

The confusion and controversy also raised eyebrows over what was a perceived case of hacking. Though untrue, it reminds one of the hacking of a number of government websites in the past. Several government agencies including the Central Bureau of Investigation had reported that their website had been hacked in the Pakistani city of Karachi. After Osama’s death, when the CBI had published a list of India’s most wanted terrorists, most of whom we claimed are in Pakistan, CBI’s website was quickly hacked. The hacker made ‘Jhansi ki Rani Laxmibai’ the most wanted terrorist of India. The CBI, after much embarrassment, took the website down for several days.

The expressive and flamboyant duo, Tharoor-Pushkar had been advised to keep their private lives separate from their public discourses by self-appointed consultants. But that, as Tharoor has rightly said several times, defeats the whole purpose of ‘social media’ and its ‘democratic nature’. A question which is bothering many, especially Tharoor, is why are social media intellectuals suddenly interested in somebody’s private life?

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