Amarnath Yatra terror attack: Bus driver Salim, who drove through firing, says Allah gave me strength

 The J&K Government has announced an award of Rs 3 lakhs to Salim for his exemplary bravery

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 11, 2017 5:12 pm
Amarnath yatra attack, amarnath yatra attack injured, salim sheikh, amarnath yatra attack killed, jammu and kashmir Salim Mirza, the driver of the bus carrying Amarnath pilgrims that was attacked by the militants. (Source: ANI)

The terror attack on the bus carrying Amarnath pilgrims on Monday evening would have resulted in loss of more innocent lives had it not been for the courage shown by Salim Mirza, the driver of the bus, who drove the yatris to safety amid indiscriminate firing of bullets by militants.  The J&K Government has announced an award of Rs 3 lakhs to Salim for his exemplary bravery. The attack on the bus with 56 passengers aboard left seven dead and over 30 injured.

Realising that halting the bus will have dangerous consequences, Salim drove for nearly two kilometres on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway before he reached an army camp. “It was about 8 pm when the bus was surrounded by terrorists. They first fired from the front with the intention to eliminate the driver. I ducked sideways to escape the bullets and drove ahead. I do not know how I got the strength to go on at that time. Maybe Allah helped me and gave me strength,” Salim told The Indian Express as he stepped out of an IAF plane that brought the deceased as well as those injured in the attack to Surat, Gujarat, Tuesday afternoon. Salim, who also belongs to Gujarat, said he escaped unharmed in the incident while another passenger seated beside him was injured.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, too,  lauded Salim and said he would recommend his name for a bravery award.

Munir Khan, IG, Kashmir was quoted as saying by One India: “I spoke to the passengers and they were all praise for the driver. He drove despite the firing and took them to safety. It made a lot of difference and many lives were saved. He did not stop. Had he stopped, more lives could have been lost.”

Read: Amarnath Yatra terror attack: Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani praises bus driver Saleem for saving yatris, says will nominate him for bravery award. Click here

Salim’s family in Gujarat said they were proud of him. His cousin, Javed, told ANI that Salim called him around 9.30 pm informing the family about the firing on the bus. “He couldn’t save seven lives but managed to move 50 people to a safe place. We are proud of him,” Javed added.

The bus bearing the registration number of Gujarat was on its way from Baltal to Jammu when the militants opened fire. According to officials, the bus was not a part of the yatra envoy and hence was not provided security cover. IG Muneer Khan said the attack was carried out by Lashkar-e-Toiba militants.

Security has been beefed up along all routes in Anantnag. A high-level meeting was also called by the Centre to take stock of the situation. The centre has also appealed the pilgrims to follow safety protocols and cooperate with the authorities.

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  1. A
    Jul 12, 2017 at 7:44 pm
    Y is this happening in our country ..... बजरंग दल के कार्यकर्ताओं ने की मस्जिद के इमाम के साथ मारपीट, लगवाए 'भारत माता की जय' के नारे : dhunt /2xRzI?s a ss pd via Dailyhunt
    1. H
      hansika sharma
      Jul 12, 2017 at 11:23 am
      i dont know if they have to kill the ppl so why they attack on innocent god and their followers
      1. S
        Jul 12, 2017 at 12:33 am
        Will he be jailed now after being hailed a hero and awarded lakhs of rupees? The police says he flouted the Amarnath Yatra rules.
        1. Mohammad Dar
          Jul 12, 2017 at 12:20 am
          Lcky hog of hnduism, immorality, missed the bullet this time, may not be so lucky next time, in service of hogs of hinduism, immorality, hindus out laws of the gujrat, may be a bullet with his markings are, resting in a magazine, to send him, his hindu filthy place called hind hell, for good, and forever,
          1. A
            Jul 12, 2017 at 12:13 am
            All Indian proud of you salim are not just save the important human had created best example for those anti nation gau rakahak.this your best slapped for anti nation gau rakahak.god bless you
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