SRINAGAR: Prof Dr Rita Jitendra who was the main guest at Doordarshan Srinagar’s Good Morning Kashmir choked while talking and later was driven to the hospital dead, reports said.
“She was talking and she suffered a heart attack and started snoring,” one of the DD employees who was around the studio said. “It shocked all and we drove her to the hospital where she was declared brought dead.”
Zahid Mukhtar, one of the senior writers and artists was hosting the show. “It was a complete shock and initially we had no idea what to do,” Mukhtar told Kashmir Life. He had a co-anchor Irfan with him. “After the DD staff quickly evacuated the indisposed guest to the hospital, we told the audience that she fell ill and the programme being telecast live continued.”
These were her last few sentences during which she collapsed and started snoring and stopped talking. “I was sitting in a function and behind me was station director, Anwar Alam Sahib. He was with Radio. He patted me on my back and when I asked him what he said, “Why I am having a feeling that you can write.”
I asked him to tell me what I have to write? To this, he said, “Write a dramma……”
With this line she stopped, her head fell towards the back of the chair on which she was sitting and starting deep breathing. The hosts were dumbfounded and were visibly bewildered. They later drove her to the hospital where she was declared brought dead.
Prof Rita Jitendra has been a renowned artist, writer, social activist and former Secretary of J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages. A resident of Jammu, her husband was a Deputy Secretary in the Academy and had died young, Academy sources said. “We had invited her for an Academy function where she was supposed to read out a story – an Afsana, on Tuesday, Aziz Hajni, secretary Academy said. “Today she was invited by DD for the morning show where she suffered an attack and died.”
Her body has been flown to Jammu in the afternoon.
Somebody had posted this line on her Facebook wall: “Sharing with concern that Prof Rita Jitendra got indisposed in the midst of a live chat on DD Kashmir, a little while ago. She has been taken to the hospital.”
It has been perhaps the first incident of this kind when anybody died live and her last moments were recorded and broadcast live. “There were instances in which the guests and the broadcasters fell ill in the studio,” Shabir Mujahid, former Director DD said. “But this is the first incident in which a guest died in the studio while being in a live programme.”