An investigative journalist, working with leading news channel Aaj Tak, mysteriously died today. Akshay Singh, who worked for TV Today group, was reporting on the infamous Vyapam scam, and had left for Madhya Pradesh four days ago.
The 36-year-old journalist with Aaj Tak's special investigations team had just finished interviewing the parents of a girl who had been found dead near railway tracks after her name figured in the scam. The incident took place in Meghnagar near Jhabua town.
Singh had on Saturday called on the parents of Namrata Damor, who was found dead under mysterious circumstances near railway tracks in Ujjain district.
Namrata's father Mehtab Singh Damor told PTI that Singh and two others visited their house this afternoon, where Singh apparently complained of uneasiness during the interview. After the interview was over, someone was sent to get some papers photocopied.
How many more?— Akash Banerjee (@akashbanerjee) July 4, 2015
As Singh was waiting outside Damor's house, he suddenly started frothing at the mouth. He was rushed to civil hospital and later to a private hospital, but doctors failed to revive him. From there he was taken to another hospital in nearby Dahod in Gujarat, where he was declared brought dead. A postmortem is being conducted to ascertain the exact cause of death.
The India Today Group put out a statement on Saturday evening, saying that the cause of his sudden demise was not yet clear. "We hope that doctors and law enforcement agencies are able to establish the cause of Akshay's death," read the statement, put out by India Today's managing editor Rahul Kanwal.
Senior Congress leader and ex-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay SIngh tweeted that he had met the deceased journalist just a day before he left for MP.
"I warned him to be careful," tweeted the Congress leader. "I am shocked! Pay homage to him and convey condolences to his family."
Shocking ! Post mortem should be done in camera under supervision of senior Doctors preferably in Delhi.— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) July 4, 2015
Singh's Twitter bio says, "I go where truth takes me. All views my own (I mean it). Country first."
At least 25 accused/witnesses have died so far in Vyapam scam, a massive admission and recruitment racket involving several bureaucrats and politicians, and the opposition Congress has been demanding a CBI probe into the matter.
Akshay was one of the rare TV correspondents who preferred to stay off camera. Super sharp investigative journalist. Saddened beyond words.— Rahul Kanwal (@rahulkanwal) July 4, 2015
STATEMENT OF THE INDIA TODAY GROUP
The India Today Group is deeply saddened by the untimely demise of Akshay Singh. Akshay had been working with Aaj Tak as a Special Correspondent since December 2013. Akshay died in the Jhabua District of Madhya Pradesh this afternoon.
Akshay worked with the Special Investigation Team of Aaj Tak. He was an enterprising journalist who had many hard hitting investigations to his credit. He had been on an assignment in Madhya Pradesh investigating the Vyapam scam for the past four days. The cause of his sudden demise is not yet clear. We mourn the death of our valued colleague. Our thoughts and prayers are with Akshay's family. We hope that doctors and law enforcement agencies are able to establish the cause of Akshay's death.
(with PTI inputs)