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Salim, the bus driver who drove through hail of bullets to save the lives of Amarnath yatris




"I didn't stop the bus because there was indiscriminate firing was underway. I kept driving. God gave me the strength to keep moving and I just did not stop," said Salim reliving the moments that made all the difference to each person on the bus.
One of the survivors of the attack also praised Salim for his bravery and said, ''We were asleep and were woken up by bullet sounds. He continued to drive and took us to safety. If not for him, it would have been worse."

The Jammu and Kashmir police also stated that reports of the bus not being registered were far from the truth. "The bus was very much registered for Amarnath Yatra and they were also in a convoy. "They had finished their darshan just two days ago and had plans of visiting a few tourist places. Yes, they were on a different route than the yatra route but the bus was registered and in a convoy," Munir Khan added. Arrangments have been made for the pilgrims to be airlifted from Kashmir.


Back home in Gujarat's Valsad, Salim's family is a proud lot. "He called me at around 9.30 PM and said that there was firing. Salim did not stop when terrorists fired but only looked for a safer spot for the pilgrims. He could not save seven lives but managed to move 50 people to a safe place. We are proud of him," said Javed, Salim's cousin.

"The bus was very much registered for Amarnath Yatra and they were also in a convoy. "They had finished their darshan just two days ago and had plans of visiting a few tourist places. Yes, they were on a different route than the yatra route but the bus was registered and in a convoy," Munir Khan added.

Of the seven pilgrims - five women and two men - who lost their lives, two were from Valsad, two from Dharampur, two from Pardi and one from Vansda. Another fifteen sustained injuries, four of them serious wounds.

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