Danish Siddiqui’s body to be buried in graveyard of Jamia Millia Islamia

Though the graveyard is usually reserved for bodies of Jamia employees, their spouses and minor children, VC Najma Akhtar has chosen to make an exception for Siddiqui.

The body of Danish Siddiqui, the Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist who was killed in Afghanistan, will be buried in the Jamia graveyard, Jamia Millia Islamia said on Sunday. The graveyard is usually reserved for bodies of Jamia employees, their spouses and minor children but the university vice-chancellor has said that an exception would be made for Siddiqui.

Siddiqui (39), who worked for new agency Reuters, was an alumnus of the university.

“The VC accepted the request by Siddiqui’s family to bury his body in the Jamia graveyard which is otherwise used exclusively for bodies of university employees, their spouses and minor child,” PRO Ahmed Azeem said.

Siddiqui’s family has a long connection with Jamia — his father Mohammad Akhtar Siddiqui was a former professor at Jamia’s Faculty of Education and stays in Jamia Nagar.

Siddiqui himself had done his schooling from Jamia, and also did his graduation in Economics and post-graduation in Mass Communication from the university.

On Saturday, VC Najma Akhtar had visited the family and offered her condolences. She also said the university would organise a condolence meeting on the campus on Tuesday, and an exhibition of Siddiqui’s work would be organised “in due course of time” on the campus to give “inspiration” to the students.

Siddiqui was killed Friday while covering clashes between Afghan security forces and the Taliban in the Spin Boldak district of Kandahar province, near Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan.

Reuters said that earlier this week he had been embedded as a journalist with the Afghan Special Forces based out of Kandahar and “had been reporting on fighting between Afghan commandos and Taliban fighters”.

He is survived by his wife Rike and two children.

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