The militants who attacked the Hiranagar police station and Samba Army camp spared a shopkeeper who lied to them,saying his name was Salim Khan. On hearing a Muslim name,the militants let him go,telling him he was one of Gods people,the shopkeeper said.
Sohan Lal Verma,who has a confectionary shop opposite the police station,said: I was outside my shop when three men stepped out of an auto. They started to shout slogans,Pakistan Zindabad,Islam Zindabad,and shot at the auto driver thrice. Two of them entered the police station,the third kept firing indiscriminately, Verma said.
Then,this man too started to move towards the police station. The auto driver was lying on the road,and I tried to help him. The militant spotted me and charged forward.
He asked me my name. I said,Mera naam Salim Khan hai. He asked me where I was from. I told him I am from Doda.
He then said,Tu Allah ka banda hai,hum tere ko chhod ke ja rahe hain (You are one of Allahs people,so we are sparing your life),and went inside the police station, Verma said.
Praveen,another shopkeeper in the area,said many more might have died had the terrorists come an hour or so later. The college in the area starts at 8 am and from 7.30 the street is packed with students, Praveen said.