Amarnath Yatra attack: A bus carrying 56 passengers at Botengo village near Anantnag, on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was attacked by the terrorist module Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). The horrific and deadly attack resulted in the death of 7 pilgrims while 32 others were injured. Bus driver Salim Sheikh who was driving the bus when the attack took place, through his quick action, managed to save the rest of pilgrims. Were it not for his actions, the toll could very well have been higher as the terrorists were firing away fiercely, but he kept driving through the hail of fire undeterred. His valor was suitably praised by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani who, while addressing the media said, that he will nominate Salim for a bravery award. CM Rupani met with the victims of the incident and said, “Want to thank bus driver for saving lives of people even when there was firing going on. Will nominate his name for bravery award.” He further added, “People from Gujarat who have lost lives will get Rs 10 lakh each from Gujarat Govt, injured to be given Rs 2 lakh.”
Braveheart driver Salim, who risked his life in order to save others in an interview today said, “Lagatar firing huyi, main isliye ruka nahi, bus chalata raha. (They were continuously firing so I did not stop and kept driving.)” He further credited god for his actions and said, “God gave me the strength to keep moving, and I just did not stop.”
Javed Mirza, driver Salim’s brother earlier in the day said, “He called me up around 9:30 pm informing about firing on the vehicle.” He added, “He told me that he did not stop there when terrorists fired, only looked for a safer spot for pilgrims.” While talking about the people who were killed in the attack, he said, “He couldn’t save 7 lives,but managed to move 50 people to a safe place, proud of him.”
The mortal remains of the pilgrims and the people who were injured have been brought to Surat, Gujarat.