Pune: A The act of bravery by 37-year-old bus driver Salim Sheik during the Amarnath terror attack on July 10 has given him the status of a hero.
On Tuesday he was felicitated for his heroic deed by Sarhad Foundation at NM Joshi Hall in Pune.
Sheikh, during his speech, mentioned the fateful night when terrorists fired indiscriminately at the bus he was driving and killed eight passengers.
He said, “We were on an 18-day tour to various places including Jaipur, Kullu, Manali, Shimla Srinagar and Amarnath. We had finished Amarnath Yatra and were on our way back. On the evening of July 9, we reached Srinagar. We left Srinagar next day around 4 pm, after hardly covering a distance of 6 km our bus tyre got punctured. However, after replacing the tire we continued our journey and were just 2 km away from Anantnag when the attack happened.”
He said initially he thought it was the sound of fire crackers but soon realised what it was. “I heard the voice of passengers who were crying in pain and fear. I bent down and continued driving till I saw an Army camp,” added Sheikh.
He added, “The incident which happened to us should not happen again to anybody. It was painful to see innocent people die.”
Sheikh hails from Jalgaon and migrated to Valsad in Gujrat along with his family. His father was a security guard and his family includes wife and three children.
Baba Adhav, who chaired the function said, “Sheikh who works as a driver for last 18 years and just earns a salary of Rs 10,000 should be felicitated for his bravery by everyone.”
Sheikh was presented Rs 1,65,000 by dignitaries who were present at the function.