Other States

Clicking till the last breath

Photojournalist Shafat Sidiq, who lost his life in Kashmir floods.  

Shafat Sidiq’s house in the old city was miraculously spared by the floods that submerged more than half of Srinagar. A man terrified of water, Sidiq ventured out to take pictures and show them to the outside world. A photojournalist for Dainik Jagran, Sidiq went to shoot floodwaters making their way into Lal Chowk with two cameras. Five days later, when local rescuers found his bloated body, the cameras were still slung around his neck. On September 7, the day the floods submerged Srinagar, Sidiq filed no pictures for the newspaper but he had captured some in his camera and phone.

“He did not want to go out that day; there was water everywhere. He told his office early in the morning that he had a family and going out was a huge risk. I heard him say that there was no way to go out except in a chopper,” Sidiq’s wife, Yasmin told The Hindu. “But then he kept pacing across the corridor, speaking with someone on the phone talking about taking the picture of the clock tower [in Lal Chowk],” she said.

Sidiq left home on September 7, at 10.30 a.m. and told his family that he would return within an hour and take them to a safer place if the floodwaters reached their house. They kept waiting for him while the floodwaters drew near.

“At 6 p.m., I lost patience and I told everyone that something was wrong. The phones were not working and somehow we all knew something was wrong with him. We went to the Zaina Kadal police station and they said their SHO was missing and their wireless was not working,” said Saleema Bano, Sidiq’s mother.

The next day, they themselves went out to look for him through the submerged city on makeshift rafts.

“I only looked for photographers and asked everyone if they saw my son. Someone said he heard Sidiq was at the airport, someone said he was on the third floor of a newspaper office, someone said all the journalists had been taken to the Governor House. We kept looking for him everywhere,” said Bano.

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Printable version | Oct 31, 2020 1:52:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/shafat-sidiq-clicking-till-the-last-breath/article6436451.ece

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