Family pay tribute to Del Singh who died when Taliban suicide bomber blew up cafe in Kabul

Del Singh

Del Singh

First published in News
Last updated

The family of a Southampton Labour politician who was killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan today described him as "funny, big-hearted and humble".

Komal Adris, 35, said her partner Dharmender "Del" Singh had been an advisor to Labour leader Ed Miliband on Israeli and Palestinian policy.

Daily Echo:

Del and Komal

Del was working in Kabul, as an international development consultant for Adam Smith International - a leading international advisory firm.

He was as one of 21 people killed in a Taliban attack on a Kabul restaurant popular with foreigners and affluent Afghans.

Del had been in the country for just over a week and was due to stay for a month.

He was a Labour Party candidate for the European elections due to be held later this years - watch the video below.

Speaking from Del's family home in Southampton Komal said: "He was such a friendly and happy person.

"All the family are here today together at our home and everyone is upset, shocked and devastated.

"He genuinely cared about Afghanistan and he loved the country.

Daily Echo:

Del Singh

"He's been going there on and off now for around six years, for about four to six weeks at a time.

"He's been to Kosovo, Libya, and Sudan - to name a few - but we didn't let him go to Iraq because it was too dangerous.

"He kept going back to all these conflict areas because he loved his work and wanted to see a more peaceful world.

"It was his passion as well as his job.

"From the driver to the cook at the local restaurant, to the senior managers and to the government officials - he would treat them all exactly the same.

"He was such an optimistic person that you just don't assume something as terrible as this could ever happen to somebody like him.

"You just don't believe the universe would do that to people like Del."

Daily Echo:

Del with sisters Ruby, 26, Dishi, 34, and Bali, 39

That was just one of his charity commitments as when he was younger, he spent nights with the homeless in freezing conditions as he campaigned for them to get better shelter.

Komal said she had also spent nights out on the streets with him.

She said: "He was grounded and down to earth but he had the humour of a 12-year-old and was quite shy."

Born and raised in Southampton, Del - a Sikh by religion - attended Cantell School in the city.

He later moved on to Southampton Technical College, which has since been renamed to City College Southampton.

Daily Echo:

Del Singh

During the summer months, he worked with his mother and sisters at a Mr Kipling cake factory in Southampton, which has since closed down.

However, he studied hard and went on to do an honours degree in Business Management at the London Metropolitan University.

He later moved on to do a masters in European Studies at the London School of Economics, which included a six-month stay in Brussels, Belgium.

After attaining his masters, he tried his luck at an interview with the United Nations and, to his surprise, landed a role at the organisation.

Daily Echo:

Del's younger sister Dishi Phangurha, 34, and Komal recalled how the news was broken to them.

Komal said: "I was speaking to a friend of his in the States on Skype and he asked if I had seen the news, which I had.

"I tried to contact him but I couldn't and I knew he was at the restaurant at the time.

"There were search parties out looking for him so I contacted the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and left them my contact details."

Dishi, a management consultant who works in Turkey during the week, added: "I was on a flight home to Heathrow and I had a voicemail from his employers telling me the news.

"I got home from Heathrow shortly before midnight on Friday and soon after police officers knocked on the door.

"That's when we all found out together and now all the family are here grieving.

"The last time I spoke to him was on mobile messaging app Whatsapp about three hours before the explosion because we were talking about bathrooms for a new house we are moving in to.

"He was due to go to Afghanistan earlier in the year but he waited to celebrate my mother's birthday the day before he left.

"Now the Foreign Office are just working on getting his body repatriated right now - Adam Smith are working with another private firm to sort that all out.

Comments (1)

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3:29pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Chris storey says...

He sure liked to travel, I'm surprised he had any time to deal with his constituents problems!
He sure liked to travel, I'm surprised he had any time to deal with his constituents problems! Chris storey
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