Inquiry demanded to probe journalist’s death at AIIMS

DB's Tarun Sisodia had allegedly died by suicide in Delhi on Monday


A 37-year-old journalist, undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), allegedly killed himself in Delhi on Monday. He allegedly lept from the fourth floor of this hospital. The father of two young children was rushed to the intensive care unit (ICU) but unfortunately succumbed to the injuries from the fatal fall.

The hospital was quick to issue an official statement by Monday evening, about the incident that took place at around 2 P.M. The journalist was identified as Tarun Sisodia, who was a reporter with the Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar, and was living in  Bhajanpura in Northeast Delhi.

Till late on Monday, media whatsapp groups in the city were trying to make sense of this tragedy, the first of its kind for the fraternity, perhaps since the lockdown fuelled hundreds of job losses for journalists across the country. Tarun Sisodiya too was said to be under a lot of stress, even as he was undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at AIIMS. 

However, there may be more to the death, and the Union Health Minister too has ordered a probe and set up a high level inquiry committee comprising the AIIMS’ Chief of Neuroscience Centre, Prof Padma, Head of Psychiatry Dept, Prof RK Chaddha, Dy Dir (Admin) Sh Panda & Head, Physical Medicine & Rehab Dr U Singh.


It is noteworthy that AIIMS had issued a statement detailing the sequence of events that ended in the tragedy. According to AIIMS, Sisodiya “ran out of his room on Monday afternoon” and attendants went after him, tried to stop him but he ran to the fourth floor where he “broke the windowpane and jumped out.”

Sisodiya was recovering well from Covid-19, but the hospital noted that he was suffering from bouts of disorientation for which he was seen by a neurologist and psychiatrist and put on medication.

“Mr Tarun Sisodiya, 37, was admitted to JPNATC on June 24 with Covid-19. He was making significant recovery from his Covid symptoms. He was stable on room air today and was planned for shifting to the general ward from the ICU,” the hospital stated.

“While he was in JPNATC for treatment of Covid-19, he was having bouts of disorientation for which he was seen by a neurologist and psychiatrist and put on medication. The family members were regularly counselled regarding his condition,” stated AIIMS.

“Tarun ran out of his room on Monday afternoon. Attendants ran after him and tried to stop him but he ran to the fourth floor where he broke the windowpane and jumped out,” the hospital added. No details were given how a just out of the ICU patient outran the attendants, reached another floor. 

A group of senior journalists have written to seek an inquiry into this unnatural death, as they too want to know if there was  a possibility that Tarun Sisodia may have been subjected to harassment by his employer.  “Prima facie, this suggests a possibility of negligence at the level of the hospital and potential harassment by the employer as contributory factors in his untimely demise.  A comprehensive inquiry which will examine all these aspects by an appropriate authority is necessary to ensure that such unfortunate incidents are not repeated again,” stated the journalists. They have also asked that measures be taken “so that the potentially adverse financial implications to his family are addressed”.

The Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) too has written to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to bring to his notice that Tarun Sisodia had feared that he would be attacked. Before he was unwell, he had been on active reporting duty. “Various questions are being raised about his own physical health as well as the controversial stories he wrote on Delhi’s health preparedness to fight Covid-19 and his allegations that someone was out to get him,” stated the DUJ. 

The union has also raised questions about the possibility of “various pressures operating on him including the looming fear of losing his job during this lockdown.” The DUJ has been raising the issue regularly as hundreds of journalists have lost their jobs overnight. Media house owners have unleashed “large scale illegal sacking of journalists and other newspaper employees in Delhi during the lockdown” and sackings have also been reported from other states with a large number of media job losses  being reported from Maharashtra as well. “We fear that more journalists will soon lose their jobs, leaving them and their families in jeopardy. Unfortunately your Labour Department has taken no action on this urgent matter,” stated the DUJ. 

It has asked the CM to appoint an inquiry committee to look into Tarun Sisodia’s  death “and the multiple issues it raises including his employment status.” The union has also requested that Sisodia’s family be granted an ex gratia amount  from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. Sisodia leaves behind a young wife, a toddler and a few-months-old baby. 

Journalists have revealed that Tarun Sisodia had shared his fears of being killed in a whatsapp conversation with his colleagues.

“AIIMS statement on Tarun Sisodia’s death and his whatsapp message in a group few days ago that he could be murdered  #JusticeForTarunSisodia 

Truth needs to be investigated”






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