Tributes pour in for star Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui

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After news about the death of Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui emerged this past week, tributes have poured in from around the world memorializing his life and work.

A resident of Delhi, Siddiqui was on a reporting assignment with the Afghan security forces when he was killed.

Afghanistan’s ambassador to India, Farid Mamundzay, tweeted, “Deeply disturbed by the sad news of the killing of a friend, Danish Seddiqi in Kandahar last night. The Indian Journalist & winner of Pulitzer Prize was embedded with Afghan security forces. I met him 2 weeks ago before his departure to Kabul. Condolences to his family & Reuters.”

This year, some of the country’s most prolific photographs documenting India’s fight against the coronavirus have been attributed to Siddiqui.

He was a student of Jamia University and his father has been a professor at the university. Reuters said that Siddiqui, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist from India, was killed while he was embedded with the Afghan Special Forces who were trying to retake the main market in Spin Boldak, a key town on the border with Pakistan.

The 38-year-old had covered war zones and crises from Iraq to Hong Kong to Nepal and won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for covering the Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar.

“Danish was an outstanding journalist, a devoted husband and father, and a much-loved colleague. Our thoughts are with his family at this terrible time,” Reuters President Michael Friedenberg and Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni said in a joint statement.

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The UN Mission in Afghanistan said, in a tweet, that Siddiqui’s death is a “painful reminder of mounting dangers faced by media in Afghanistan.” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ deputy spokesperson, too, said they were “concerned” about “the increasing threat to journalists in Afghanistan.”

Scores of Indian photographers and journalists held candlelight vigils in memory of Siddiqui over the weekend. On Saturday, mourning mediapersons stood outside the Mumbai Press Club gates holding candles, placards and pictures of Siddiqui, who had worked in Mumbai also.

Many others who could not turn up owing to rains, paid tributes to their departed colleague at their homes or offices.

mumbai press club vigil for danish siddiqui
Source: IANS

Siddique was buried at Jamia Milia Islamia Graveyard, a final resting spot usually reserved for Jamia employees, their spouses, and children. However, Vice Chancellor Najma Akhtar announced that the institute would make an exception for Siddiqui, as well as organise a condolence meeting on campus and an exhibition of the photojournalist’s work on campus.

Compiled from various media reports

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