The family of Kanwar Natwar Singh, the former minister of state for external affairs and a member of the Congress Working Committee, is again in the news, but for all the wrong reasons.

The suicide of diplomat-turned-politician Singh's daughter Ritu, close on the heels of her sister-in-law Natasha's death two months ago, has left social circles in the metropolis dumbfounded.

Natasha Singh leaped to her death from a five-star hotel on March 17, while her close friend and sister-in-law Ritu Inder Kaur, alias Ritu Singh, committed suicide on Thursday.

Unlike in Natasha's case where the local Delhi Police are yet to close the file despite agreeing that she had committed suicide, in the case of Ritu, both the police and a panel of three doctors who conducted the post mortem have concluded that it was a text book case of suicide, although she left no suicide note.

Investigations conducted by the police reveal that Ritu, who hanged herself in her father's elite Vasant Vihar bungalow, stopped taking calls from noon on Thursday while keeping herself locked in her first floor bedroom.

She did not even eat her lunch, not considered unusual by the family as she was an acute patient of depression and was being treated for it for the last nine years. She was scheduled to go to London next week for further treatment.

It was only towards the evening, when Ritu did not respond to knocks made by the maid Surinder Kaur who brought her medicines, that the household take notice. For the next half hour or so, her mother Kanwarani Heminder Kumari, sister of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, the former Maharaja of Patiala and others kept knocking on the door.

Natwar Singh was at a meeting at the party central office. When they broke open the door they found Ritu, 31, hanging from the cupboard handle.

Family lawyer R.K. Anand said Ritu had used a dressing gown belt to hang herself from the top latch of a cupboard. "We found anti-depressant tablet strips and have handed over empty strips to the police," Anand said.

A team of doctors who conducted the post mortem on Friday concluded that Ritu ended her life around 7.00pm and there was no indication of any foul play.

Ritu was cremated on Friday, with the doctors and police convinced that she committed suicide amidst whispers that two mysterious deaths within two months in the family could be more than a coincidence.

Ritu, 31, was said to be extremely depressed after Natasha, who studied with her in the local British School, committed suicide. She was instrumental in her brother Jagat Singh, a failed politician, getting married to Natasha.

Jagat had unsuccessfully contested the 1999 Lok Sabha polls as a Congress party candidate from Bharatpur in Rajasthan, ruled by their family in the past.

Ritu, unmarried, had tried her best to save her brother's marriage without much luck.

Jagat has been in news, again for all the wrong reasons for the last one year. He had almost killed Vinay Kapoor, a close friend of Natasha, by allegedly breaking a bottle over his head in September last year and then getting him severely beaten up by hired goons. Even on Thursday he assaulted some journalists outside his father's residence in a drunken state.

Curiously, while Ritu's body lay inside, the mourners were served food and alcohol at his father's residence, later explained as a tradition of the Patiala royal family, to which Ritu's mother belongs.

Ritu's post mortem was delayed by half an hour as no family member was available to identify her body, a legal requirement, at the Safdarjung Hospital and the doctors could start their work to determine the case of her death only after one of her friends identified her.

Natwar Singh, who suffered a mild stroke on seeing his only daughter's body, has reportedly recovered and witnessed his son Jagat light the pyre on Friday in absolute silence.

"We have questioned some of her close friends. But there is nothing to suggest that it could have been anything other than a case of suicide," a senior Delhi Police officer said.

Ritu's viscera have been preserved for toxicological examination to determine if she had taken more than the prescribed dose of an anti-depression medicine.