By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, July 16:
Danish Siddiqui, who was the Reuters India’s Chief journalist, was killed in clashes in Spin Boldak district in Kandahar, while he was on a reporting assignment embedded with the Afghan Special Forces, on Thursday.
He was about 40. He was based in Mumbai for a couple of years earlier. Later he moved to Delhi handling different national and international assignments, Mumbai-based Senior Photographer and his colleague Atul Kamble told the Transcontinental Times.
Condoling Danish Siddiqui’s demise, Farid Mamundzay, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to India, tweeted: “Deeply disturbed by the sad news of the killing of a friend, Danish Siddiqui 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.”
Terrible Terrible news. Our dearest Danish Siddiqui, Reuters Chief photojournalist, was killed in clashes in Spin Boldak district in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He was embedded with Afghan forces which came under attack by the Taliban. Remember reporting with him on many assignments. RIP, Aditya Raj Kaul tweeted.
For over the last few days, Danish was covering the situation in Afghanistan’s Kandahar amid heightened tension in the area. His last story was about a mission in which Afghan commandos were trying to extract a wounded policeman trapped by Taliban insurgents on the outskirts of Kandahar. On June 13, he had reported that the vehicle he and other special forces were travelling in was targeted with 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 armour plate overhead,” he had said in of his tweets.
Danish graduated with a degree in Economics from Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi. He went on to pursue a degree in Mass Communication from the AJK Mass Communication Research Centre at Jamia in 2007.
He started his career as a television news correspondent and later switched to photojournalism and joined the Reuters as an intern in 2010. He has since covered the Battle of Mosul (2016-17), the April 2915 Nepal earthquake, the refugee crisis arising from the Rohingya genocide, 2019-2020 Hong kong protests, 2020 Delhi Riots, and the COVID-10 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 feature photography, as part of the photography staff of Reuters for documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis. A photograph he clicked during the 2020 Delhi Riots was featured as one of the defining photographs of 2020 by Reuters.