Pulitzer Prize-winning Indian Photojournalist Danish Siddiqui has been killed while covering the warlike situation in Afghanistan. He was the chief photographer of Reuters news agency in India, on an assignment to cover the clashes between Afghani forces and the Taliban.
According to the reports, he was with a convoy of Afghan forces when Taliban militants ambushed them near an important border post with Pakistan. A senior Afghan officer was also killed in the attack. Afghan forces were trying to take back the main market area of Spin Boldak from the Taliban when the officer and the journalist succumbed to the crossfire.
The Indian government did not respond to the media promptly and Reuters President and Editor-in-Chief mentioned that they were still collecting more information. It remained unclear that exactly how many people died in the attack.
The news broke many hearts which could be seen from the reaction on social media. The citizens have thanked Danish for his commendable efforts in bringing the true picture to life. They once again remembered some of his bravest moments in journalism.
Danish Siddiqui Riding in The Face of Danger
Siddiqui started to cover the Kandahar situation earlier this week with the Afghan special forces. Ever since he had been traveling with the soldiers to the literal war zones to report on the ongoing fighting between Afghan commandos and Taliban militants. A few days ago, he posted on Twitter how their armored vehicle was hit with an RPG fired by the Taliban.
Danish had previously reported that he got shrapnel in his arm from the blasts while covering the clash in Spin Boldak. The Taliban retreated from the region when he was under medical care but came back when he was just recovering. Afghan forces told the media that he was talking to the shopkeepers when the Taliban attacked for the second time but Reuters could not verify the details of renewed fighting.
Covering India’s Deadly Wave of Coronavirus
Danish Siddiqui has been busy for the last year covering the horrifying developments in India like the Citizenship Amendment Act, Delhi riots, the exodus of migrant workers due to unplanned lockdowns, and mass cremations due to oxygen shortages caused by the second wave of COVID-19.
The pictures he took of mass cremations at Delhi funeral grounds, went viral internationally. Their impact was huge as they told an entirely different story than the Indian government’s “official” data. His pictures made it clear that besides hospital beds, the cremation grounds were also running out to burn more funeral pyres.
He also traveled to small cities, villages, and mountains to show the damage COVID-19 has caused in poor communities, especially those who reside in remote locations.
True Imagery of Current Times
The audience admired his work that showed the exact face of ongoing times. Images of Danish Siddiqui are still imprinted in the viewer’s mind for the truth they speak about the humanitarian crises. Social media users kept on reposting some of his iconic pictures that sketched a human face of devastation.
Siddiqui was part of the Reuters photography team that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis in Feature Photography. Apart from Rohingyas and COVID-19, his work widely covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Earthquakes in Nepal, and the Hong Kong protests.