Renowned academic Rita Jitendra was appearing as a guest on “Good Morning J&K”, when she collapsed mid-sentence.
The hosts of the show, including anchor Zahid Muktar, appeared in shock when she fell back on the chair and started breathing heavily.
He told the Indian Telegraph: "She was telling us a few interesting things about her life and was looking absolutely normall. But suddenly she stopped talking and began having hiccups. We had to cut the interview (and switch to) a documentary to attend to her and take her to hospital."
He continued, "When she collapsed, we thought she was acting... It took us a few moments to realise something was seriously wrong. We tried to revive her. Producers, our assistants, everyone tried to revive her. But she did not respond. She was rushed to a hospital where she was declared brought dead."
Professor Jitendra’s host in the city of Srinagar was Hazifa Muzaffar, who is a former secretary of the state women’s commission.
Muzaffar said that while Jitendra was being driven to the studio ahead of the live taping, she had revealed she wanted her death to be similar to former Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s death.
Muzaffar said, "She told him that Dr Kalam had died while working. That is how she met her end too. She breathed her last in the studio itself."
After Jitendra suffered a cardiac arrest on live television, she was rushed to hospital straight from the studio. However, she was pronounced dead on arrival.
Dr Saleem Tak said,"The cardiac arrest may have taken place due to heart arrhythmia, which is an abnormal heart beating. We have completed the legal formalities and handed over the body to her family."
The producer of the program, Tanveer Mir, explained Jitendra had choked suddenly and collapsed.
Mir told Kashmir Reader, "It's shocking for us as this is the first incident in the Doordarshan history when any guest died in a live program."
He added, "As part of the TV profession, we managed to run the whole programme to keep the broadcast uninterrupted. But we are very saddened with this incident and we pray for the departed soul."
This story originally appeared in The Sun.