A media body on Tuesday demanded a judicial inquiry into the death of a 37-year-old journalist undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at the AIIMS Trauma Centre in Delhi after he allegedly jumped off the fourth floor of the hospital building.
In a statement, the Press Association, a media body of accredited journalists, also appealed to the government to sanction funds to the next of kin of the deceased as help in this grave crisis.
Journalist Tarun Sisodia worked for a Hindi daily and lived with his wife and two children in northeast Delhi's Bhajanpura.
Sisodia jumped from the fourth floor of the Trauma Centre on Monday and was shifted to the ICU, Devender Arya, Deputy Commissioner of Police (southwest) had said. The police has said that they initiated inquest proceedings.
Doctors at the Trauma Centre, which has been converted into a dedicated COVID-19 facility, tried to revive him but he succumbed to the injuries, hospital authorities had said.
In letters to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar, the Press Association demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident which can bring the truth to light.
Following the incident, Health Minister Vardhan had asked the AIIMS director to set up a panel to probe the matter.
"I ordered AIIMS Director to immediately constitute an official inquiry into this incident, following which a high-level committee has been set up & shall submit its report within 48 hours," he had tweeted.
The Press Association said the inquiry that the government has ordered consisting of department heads of AIIMS, may not be appropriate since the incident happened in the institute.
Sisodia was the sole bread earner in his family and is survived by his wife and two young daughters, it said. The government should sanction funds to the next of kin of the deceased, the statement said.
The Press Association had earlier urged the Centre to extend a Rs 50 lakh insurance cover to working journalists who like all other health professionals are fighting against Coronavirus.