Prof Rita Jitendera, a former secretary of the J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, and renowned writer and teacher, died due to a cardiac arrest on Monday on the sets of the morning show of Doordarshan Srinagar.

Prof Rita Jitendra was a guest on DD’s Good Morning Kashmir show on Monday. She was responding to a question asked by the presenter when her voice suddenly choked and she collapsed on the chair. Her snores could be heard before she breathed her last.

The show was interrupted and the DD staff rushed her to hospital where she was declared dead on arrival. Her body was flown to Jammu for last rites.

She was recalling an incident when the then station director of the Jammu station of AIR, who she referred to as “Aggarwal sahab”, had during a function asked her to start writing some drama and short stories, when she suddenly went quiet and then collapsed. Zahid Mukhtar, who was hosting the show, was perplexed when Prof Rita sitting in front of him fell back on the chair and started breathing heavily.

Prof. Rita’s husband, Jitendra Khajuria, who died young, was also a writer and had worked as secretary of the J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages.

She had been invited by the academy where she read out her story on Sunday and was invited by the DD for the Monday morning live show.