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Amarnath attack: Rs5 lakh reward for bus driver

LiveMint logoLiveMint 11-07-2017 PTI

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government and Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) on Tuesday separately announced rewards totalling Rs5 lakh for Sheikh Saleem Gafoor, the driver of the bus of Amarnath pilgrims which came under attack on Monday night in Anantnag.

The rewards have been announced for Gafoor for displaying exemplary alertness and courage through which he saved several lives as he continued to drive the bus in the midst of firing by terrorists. The state government also announced ex-gratia compensation of Rs6 lakh each to the kin of those killed, Rs2 lakh for those seriously injured and Rs1 lakh for those with minor injuries, an official spokesman said.

The governor also announced relief of Rs5 lakh to the next of kin of those killed, Rs1.50 lakh to those who suffered serious injuries and Rs75,000 for those with minor injuries, the spokesman said. The state cabinet, which met under the chairpersonship of chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, sanctioned a reward of Rs3 lakh in favour of Saleem Gafoor for exemplary alertness and courage during the incident, the spokesman said. Governor N.N. Vohra, in his capacity as chairman of SASB, also announced a special reward of Rs2 lakh to the driver for his alert response which saved lives of many pilgrims, the spokesman said.

Seven pilgrims were killed and 19 others were injured when terrorists fired at their bus near Khanabal while it was on its way to Jammu from Srinagar. The driver kept the vehicle moving even when he was under heavy fire from the front and the windscreen had been shattered. The cabinet directed the finance department to provide necessary additional funds for meeting the compensation/ex- gratia on the most immediate basis for release to the next of kins of the deceased and to the injured, the spokesman said.

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