Can we expect some 'Breaking News' right ahead of the Budget session?

When in Trouble is the Delhi police dialing T for Tharoor
Blog Tricks of Trade Monday, February 15, 2016 - 13:27

By Saul Ray

In December 2014, speculation was rife that after transferring most of the UPA’s top officers, the Modi government might set its eyes on changing the Commissioner of Delhi Police (CP). The rumour was that the police commissioner would be appointed as Director General of Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D). Given how high-profile a position CP of Delhi is, this looked like a sure case of being shunted out.

But, then came the sudden sound bite of the Commissioner that an FIR had been registered under various sections pertaining to the mysterious death of Sunanda Pushkar. The FIR came almost 350 days after the death took place. With that began a series of news leaks and much publicised questioning of Shashi Tharoor.

The clamour for Tharoor's head grew in various TV studios, but no one remembers what happened after that. Today over two years later, the case hasn't moved an inch, but the issue keeps coming up in studios like a lovable distraction.

The viscera sample got sent to FBI labs and then another long wait began to receive the report from the labs. In the meantime, the high-decibel Bihar elections took place. After the BJP suffered a drubbing, the veterans who were all looking forward to the Marg Darkshak Mandal revolted against the existing leadership.

That November evening, the news cycle was dominated by the churnings inside the ruling party. But next day morning, the big story in two of Delhi's top newspapers was that Sunanda's viscera report has been received from US labs. Predictably the news cycle followed and in a battle for news space between squabbling 80-year-olds and the murder mystery of a top page 3 woman, you know who won the battle.

But what was there in the report? Not disclosed. Apparently it was too technical and needed expert analysis by the AIIMS medical board. But the AIIMS board did file a reply. Second week of January this year, we saw a lot of analysis of what went wrong in the government strategy during the Pathankot attack. After the initial euphoria about how the NSG crushed the attack, criticism mounted, with questions being raised on why the NSG was used for the operation, when the army was more equipped to handle the situation.

Suddenly, there was this tweet from the personal account of CP, Delhi, 'Have been told that the Medical Board's advice in late Sunanda's case has been received. Deepak is reviewing progress. Merits shall be ensured'.

And by evening, the details of the medical report also came in, surely enough no clue yet as to how Sunanda died? And finally while battling the massive negative publicity following the way the JNU protests were handled, we notice that the South District police found time to quiz Tharoor yet again. Mind you this by the same South District team, which already had its hands full, handling the JNU mess.

But by now the spin had changed. From murder most foul to a probable suicide, the Sunanda story came a long way and Shashi Tharoor from being the killer, is now allegedly being probed for buying sleeping pills for his wife. In this day and age when managing perception has become the name of the game, for the Delhi Police it might just mean, dial 'T' whenever in 'Trouble'.

PS: Can we expect some 'Breaking News' right ahead of the Budget session? Who knows? Keep watching this space.

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