NEW YORK - The Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based watchdog body, has called for an investigation into the death of a freelance Indian journalist who died of burn injuries at a hospital in Uttar Pradesh this week.

"We call on authorities to conduct a swift, credible, and transparent investigation into the death of Jagendra Singh," CPJ Asia Programme Research Associate Sumit Galhotra said in a statement.

Before his death, Jagendra Singh had accused Uttar Pradesh minister Ram Murti Verma of "unleashing" a reign of terror on him and his family for his investigative reports and comments against Verma. "Given the allegations of police participation, and India's poor track record of solving crimes in connection with reporting on local corruption, the involvement of an independent authority is essential," he said.

The journalist had alleged that he sustained burn injuries during raid by Inspector Sri Prakash Rai at his house.

During a raid at the journalist's house at Awas Vikas Colony in Sadar Bazar, Shahjahanpur on June 1, his family alleged that police officials set him on fire after which he was admitted to a hospital in Lucknow.

Singh was left with burns covering 60 percent of his body after a police raid at his home on June 1, local reports said. While being treated in hospital, Singh made a statement to a police officer named Amitabh Thakur in which he said another police officer, Sriprakash Rai, doused him in petrol.