TV journalist Akshay Singh
TV journalist Akshay Singh who died while investigating Vyapam scam.Twitter/India Today

A reporter with Delhi-based Aaj Tak TV news channel died on Saturday soon after interviewing the family of a girl who died after her name was linked with Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh.

The post mortem of reporter Akshay Singh suggested natural death and no injuries were found on his body. However, the doctors are awaiting results of some tests to ascertain the cause of death.

"The post mortem does not show any foul play. No external wounds were found on the body. To determine the reason behind the death we have sent viscera for histopathology and forensic analysis. After reports come in, we'll be able to give in a reason behind death," India Today quoted Dahod Civil Hospital's medical officer Dr Ashok Bachani as saying.

Meanwhile, Singh's body will be brought to Delhi on Sunday and the funeral rites will be performed at Nigam Bodh Ghat in the afternoon, Zee News reports.

Singh's death

The incident took place in the afternoon of 4 July in Meghnagar near Jhabua town in Madhya Pradesh. Singh and his two colleagues had gone there to meet the family of the person who was found dead under mysterious circumstances near railway tracks in Ujjain district.

After talking to them for about an hour, one of them went out to take photo-copies of some documents while Singh was waiting outside Damors' house, when he suddenly fell ill.

"He suddenly fell down and we rushed him to the hospital. He did not have a pulse when we took him to the nearby hospital," an eye-witness Om Prakash Damor said.

From the civil hospital, Singh was rushed to a private hospital, but after doctors failed to revive him, he was again rushed to a hospital in Dahod, Gujarat, where he was declared brought dead.

His death was later confirmed by Jhabua district's Superintendent of Police Abid Khan.

Singh was covering the massive recruitment scam in the Madhya Pradesh Vyavsayik Pareeksha Mandal (Vyapam) and a trail of deaths reported in connection with it.

He was in Madhya Pradesh for the past four days on an assignment to investigate the Vyapam scam, according to a statement by the India Today Group.

Several deaths have been reported so far in connection with the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) scandal. Singh, who was a member of Aaj Tak's Special Investigation Team and a Special Correspondent with the TV news channel since December 2013, also added to the several deaths reported in connection with the high-profile Vyapam scam.

While some reports suggested 25 deaths, others show the number somewhere around 40.

Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav's son Shailesh Yadav was among those who died in relation to the scam. Accused of fixing the recruitment of 10 candidates as Grade III teachers, Shailesh had allegedly committed suicide in March this year.

Congress RS Surjewala has asked for a thorough investigation into his death. 

"His death, coming after more than 40 mysterious deaths of individuals associated with the Vyapam scam raises very serious concerns and questions and needs to be investigated thoroughly and impartially," IANS quoted Surjewala as saying.

The Broadcast Editors' Association (BEA) General Secretary NK Singh has also demanded for an independent body to be set up for investigating journalist's death.

"Investigation must be done by an independent body under SC's supervision," NK Singh told ANI.

Vyapam Scam

The irregularities in the MPPEB tests and admission started surfacing since 2009. However, the scam was exposed in 2013 after an intensive investigation and several politicians and bureaucrats in Madhya Pradesh were named in it.

At least 3,000 people were named in Vyapam scam; nearly 1,900 of them are reportedly behind the bars, while 500 accused are absconding.

The Madhya Pradesh High Court has asked the Special Investigation Team (SIT), which is probing into the scam, to submit a report on the deaths. The SIT also has to submit the charge-sheet in the case by 15 July.

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