Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui has been killed in a Taliban attack in Spin Boldak district in Kandahar, Afghanistan on Friday. The Reuters photographer was embedded with the Afghan forces, who were taking on the Taliban in their attempt to snatch the vital border crossing with Pakistan which had been overrun by the fundamentalist militia.
Afghanistan-based Tolo News tweeted that Danish Siddiqui, a Reuters photojournalist, was killed in clashes in Spin Boldak district in Kandahar. The Indian journalist was covering the situation in Kandahar over the last few days, the tweet added.
Condoling Siddiqui’s demise, Farid Mamundzay, the Afghanistan Ambassador to India, tweeted: “Deeply disturbed by the sad news of the killing of a friend, Danish Seddiqi in Kandahar last night. The Indian Journalist & winner of the Pulitzer Prize was embedded with Afghan security forces. I met him 2 weeks ago before his departure to Kabul. Condolences to his family & Reuters.”
Danish Siddiqui had shared a Twitter thread on his work in Afghanistan three days ago. He shared visuals of the Taliban attacking a car he was travelling in. “The Humvee in which I was travelling with other special forces was also targeted by at least 3 RPG rounds and other weapons. I was lucky to be safe and capture the visual of one of the rockets hitting the armor plate overhead,” Danish had written on July 13.
Siddiqui has covered the Battle of Mosul (2016–17), the April 2015 Nepal earthquake, the refugee crisis arising from the Rohingya genocide in 2018 which won him the Pulitzer, the 2019–2020 Hong Kong protests, 2020 Delhi Riots, and the Covid-19 pandemic among other stories in South Asia, Middle East, and Europe. In 2018, he became the first Indian alongside colleague Adnan Abidi to win the Pulitzer Prize for documenting the Rohingya crisis. During Covid times, Siddiqui had framed a photo of burning pyres in East Delhi from atop a terrace nearby upon zooming into which more such pyres could be seen.
He had been viciously trolled for his images showing the true picture in Delhi as compared to the prevalent airbrushed all-is-well image vis-a-vis Covid-19 management. The trolls didn’t leave even Siddiqui’s death unmolested, they are busy sharing the picture of his dead body now, mocking the brave journalism he practiced.
In other India news, Veteran actor Surekha Sikri who was best known for her role in Balika Vadhu has died on Friday