A conscientious chronicler of the tumult in South Asia and the person behind among the most searing, impactful photographs of latest instances, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui (39) was Friday killed in a Taliban assault on Afghan safety forces. Chief Photographer with worldwide information company Reuters, he’s survived by his spouse, a German nationwide, and two kids.
“I was informed about it (his death) by Reuters. The Ministry of External Affairs has also informed that they are trying their level best to trace the remains. My appeal would be that they expedite the process and bring the body back to us as soon as possible,” Danish’s father Mohammad Akhtar Siddiqui informed The Indian Categorical.
He stated he spoke to Danish “almost every night” when he was on the sphere. “The last I spoke to him was the day before yesterday. He didn’t seem to be unsafe and he seemed very confident about his work,” he stated.
Sharing his final dispatch from Kandahar on Twitter simply three days in the past, Siddiqui had tweeted how he was “lucky to be safe” when the Humvee through which he and Afghan forces had been travelling in had been fired at with “at least three rounds” of rocket-propelled grenades.
Reuters stated Siddiqui had been “embedded as a journalist since earlier this week with Afghan special forces based in the southern province of Kandahar and had been reporting on fighting between Afghan commandos and Taliban fighters”.
‘We’re urgently looking for extra data, working with authorities within the area,” Reuters President Michael Friedenberg and Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni stated in an announcement.
Siddiqui had informed Reuters he had been “wounded in the arm by shrapnel earlier on Friday while reporting on the clash” in Spin Boldak, however was “treated”. An Afghan commander informed Reuters that the Taliban fighters had retreated, and “attacked again” when Siddiqui had been speaking to shopkeepers.
Siddiqui had received the Pulitzer Prize in 2018 together with a group from Reuters for his or her protection of the Rohingya refugee disaster. He had been employed with the organisation in 2010, and lined the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Nepal earthquake and the Hong Kong protests.
In latest instances, his most notable photographs embrace these of the Delhi riots — a Muslim man, injured, crouched on the bottom and surrounded by a riotous mob wielding lathis; the Jamia shooter pointing his country-made pistol at a scholar because the police stood within the background; and the devastation attributable to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Siddiqui grew up in Delhi, in and round Jamia Millia Islamia, the place his father taught on the College of Schooling earlier than retiring. He studied at a Jamia affiliated faculty, and did his undergraduate in Economics from the college earlier than enrolling for his put up commencement at Jamia’s AJK Mass Communication and Analysis Centre (MCRC) in 2005.
On Friday, his alma mater, lecturers and colleagues remembered Siddiqui as among the best photojournalists of this era. In an announcement, the college stated it “deeply mourns the tragic and untimely” demise of Siddiqui. Vice-Chancellor Najma Akhtar termed it a “big loss to journalism and the Jamia fraternity”.
In 2018 the MCRC awarded Danish the Distinguished Alumni Award. Sabeena Gadhioke, who taught Siddiqui at MCRC, stated he had transitioned from being her scholar to pal. “Even after he graduated, he was very warm and he kept coming back to take classes and speak to our students, which many students don’t do. He was self-effacing and humble. We’re still in shock. We knew he was shooting in dangerous situations but he was very careful about safety precautions, so it’s difficult to process this,” she stated.
“Photojournalistic pictures are often about just capturing what’s happening in front of you, but there was something arresting about his pictures. They had a sense of composition and style. He was gifted as a photographer, and every photo of his stands out,” she stated.
Siddiqui’s final class at Jamia was on April 26 this yr. Sohail Akbar, trainer of pictures at MCRC, recalled how he had spared time in the course of the Covid second wave for the category. “His conscientiousness and dedication to his work and to MCRC was so much that he took out time at the peak of his coverage to take the class. Our students were very inspired by him. For us it is very shocking because while he was very daring, he also emphasized on the rules and safety training given by Reuters. He always told students to adhere to those safety protocols. It makes us wonder what happened that he came in the line of fire,” he stated.
Reuters photojournalist Adnan Abidi, who was a part of the Pulitzer Prize-winning group, stated Siddiqui was “one of the best photographers right now in the country”. “He was also a very good human being and a very good manager too,” he stated.
Freelance photographer Saumya Khandelwal described Siddiqui because the “finest photojournalist of our times”. She had labored in Reuters Delhi bureau, when Siddiqui was employed with the company in Mumbai.
“His work stood not just for the boldness, but also the deep understanding of humanity that is reflected in his photos. Whether it’s the migrant father carrying his son on his shoulders during the Covid crisis, or the Rohingya refugee father protecting his child with a leaf in the rain – it showed his sensitivity as a photographer. After he was made Chief Photographer of the India team, Reuters produced some great photos which were being noticed and recognised. On the field he was very quiet and sure of himself, and could easily mix in the crowd – all qualities I admired,” she stated.