NEW YORK - The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an independent watchdog body, called on Indian authorities Monday to fully investigate the death of a local TV journalist in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday. Akshay Singh, 38, an investigative journalist for the private Hindi news channel Aaj Tak, died on Saturday from what doctors said was a heart attack, according to CPJ. Singh, who was conducting an interview, drank from a cup of tea and began coughing and frothing at the mouth, it said, citing news reports. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was declared dead.

Doctors are examining Singh’s body to see what led to the heart attack, news reports said. The journalist’s employer and family members have asked that the results be sent and examined outside the state, according to news reports.

“The Indian government should do its utmost to investigate the death of journalist Akshay Singh in a credible and thorough manner,” CPJ Asia Research Associate Sumit Galhotra said in a statement. “Given the recent spike in the number of journalist deaths in the country, authorities should dedicate their efforts to solving these cases and delivering justice where due.”

Singh was investigating the death of a woman tied to a billion-dollar corruption scandal in the state. Police, who uncovered the scam in 2013, have accused hundreds of individuals of rigging exams and giving or taking bribes, according to news reports. The suspects include students, state officials, and members of the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board, popularly known as Vyapam, a government body responsible for administering entrance exams for various educational institutions and professions in the state, according to news reports.

Other individuals tied to the case have died in unclear circumstances in recent years, according to news reports. In the past week, according to a Washington Post report citing police, “one of those accused died after having chest pains in prison, another drowned in a village pond and a third died of a liver infection.”

Police have consistently failed to investigate journalist fatalities in India, CPJ said. At least 35 journalists have been killed in in India since 1992, CPJ research shows. CPJ is investigating the deaths of more than 20 others to determine whether they are work-related. India is ranked 13th on CPJ’s annual Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are murdered and their killers go free.