NEW DELHI: The Editors Guild of India has condoled the death of Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui in Afghanistan. It also condemned the vicious trolling from right-wing extremists after his death.“Siddiqui’s death is a stern reminder of the great risks journalists take to report from the frontlines of conflict... the Guild is deeply disturbed by the vicious and highly regrettable racist campaign being run against him by some sections of social media. His death is an occasion to remember him and all the journalists who have died in conflict reporting,” the guild said.
During the second wave, Siddiqui had clicked photos of a cremation ground in the national capital where Covid-19 victims were brought for last rites. His photographs reflected the scale of the pandemic. Following this, he was scoured immorally by right-wing extremists who claimed the pictures showed India in poor light.
Siddiqui was covering a clash between Afghan security forces and the Taliban near a border crossing with Pakistan, where he fell to bullets on July 16. “Over the past decade, he had covered some of most heart wrenching stories of conflict and humanitarian crisis from South Asia and the surrounding regions — the Rohingya refugee crisis, the Nepal earthquake, war in Iraq, Easter blasts in Sri Lanka, protests in Hong Kong, the riots in North East Delhi in 2020, and most recently, the coverage of the devastating human tragedy caused by the pandemic. He was part of the Reuters team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for documenting the Rohingya crisis,” the guild said.
The guild termed Siddiqui’s death as an ‘irreplaceable loss to journalism’. He was killed in Spin Boldak district in the Kandhar region while reporting from the ground. “For the past week, Siddiqui had been embedded as a journalist with the Afghan Special Forces in the southern province of Kandahar. His work was therefore a living testament to the axiom of photojournalism.”The statement ended with a quote from famous photographer Robert Capa: “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough”.