Slain photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, who was killed in Afghanistan, was on Sunday laid to rest at the Jamia Millia Islamia graveyard where a sea of mourners gathered to pay their last respects.
Crowd swelling at Jamia now. Danish Siddiqui's funeral. pic.twitter.com/xuegSipwhE— Ismat Ara (@IsmatAraa) July 18, 2021
Police were deployed in the area to urge the gathering to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour.
Siddiqui’s body was taken to the graveyard where it was buried around 10.15 pm.
His friends recalled their last conversations with him and his promise of meeting them once he returned from his assignment. Some people remembered him as their childhood friend, some as their mentor but what was common in their memories of him was that he was a simple person who was passionate about photography.
“I met him before COVID-19 as he was always on the field and then met him last month when he was here. We exchanged hellos,” Bilal Zaidi (37), a friend of Siddiqui, was quoted as saying by PTI.
“He was a very reserved and shy person and that’s why when he started his career as a TV journalist, we felt there was a mismatch. He was somebody who always carried a camera with him whenever he was on field. He enjoyed taking photos and had a passion for still photography. He won a Pulitzer for this,” Zaidi said.
Mohammad Meharban, a freelance photojournalist, had last messaged Siddiqui asking whether he would be coming home on Eid-ul-Zuha, and he had replied, ”Inshaallah, I will come and will eat with you.” Remembering his mentor, Meharban broke down. “He was my mentor and I have been with him since 2017. He sent me a link to his work. When I opened it and found that he was in Afghanistan, I immediately called him and said it’s not safe there. He said it’s okay, my work has been done and I will be back soon,” he said as per the PTI.
Earlier in the day, the university said in a statement, “Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) Vice Chancellor accepted the request of the family of late photojournalist Danish Siddiqui to bury his body at the JMI graveyard meant exclusively for university employees, their spouses and minor child.”