In a bid to appreciate the bravery of the Muslim driver who risked his life to save the Amarnath pilgrims amid a terror attack, singer Sonu Nigam has pledged Rs 5 lakh to Sheikh Saleem Gafoor.
“Sonu ji was really moved by the driver’s courage and his presence of mind. He made sure that the driver was tracked down and ensured that the money reached him safely. It’s an inspiring gesture by Sonu ji, as he made sure that such unsung heroes are awarded,” Times of India quoted a source close to Sonu Nigam as saying.
The actor reportedly said that such people deserve to be rewarded for their act of kindness. At least 8 persons were killed and several were left injured after militants opened fire at a busy carrying Amarnath pilgrims in Bantigoo area of Jammu and Kashmir. Salim who was driving the bus was lauded for his heroic act after he did not stop even when the terrorists kept on firing from all sides. The driver made sure he took the passengers in the bus to safety.
While Jammu and Kashmir government announced a cash reward of Rs 3 lakh for his act, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani asserted that he will nominate Saleem for a bravery award.
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“Firing was going on from all sides, so I kept driving and did not stop. God gave me the strength to keep moving. I just did not stop anywhere,” he said. The man sitting next to Saleem suffered injured but he escaped unhurt.
“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,” Indian Express quoted Salim as saying.