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Award for driver who saved Amarnath yatris


Award for driver who saved Amarnath yatris

Last Updated on : 25 Jan,2018 | Source : UNT News Desk

New Delhi:
Anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir have got the state police and the CRPF the lion’s share of 65 out of 107 gallantry medals announced today, ahead of Republic Day.

Gujarati bus driver Sheikh Salim Gafur, who defied terrorists’ bullets and saved 52 Amarnath pilgrims, has been awarded the civilian life-saving award ‘Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak’. This was announced today by the Home Ministry ahead of the Republic Day. Gafur has been selected for the honour as he displayed rare grit and bravery and continued to drive the bus of the Amarnath pilgrims which came under attack by militants on July 10, 2017, in Jammu and Kashmir, a home ministry official said.

Seven Amarnath pilgrims were killed and 14 others injured when terrorists opened fire on the bus Gafur was driving near Batengoo in Anantnag district. Fiftytwo other bus passengers escaped unharmed due to the presence of mind and bravery of the driver. Besides the award, Gafur will be honoured with Rs 1 lakh cash at a special function later. As many as 38 J&K police personnel have been named as awardees of the Police Medal for Gallantry (PMG), followed by 35 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force, out of which 27 have been given the honour for operations in the Kashmir valley. The PMG is the second highest police bravery medal followed by the President’s Police Medal for Gallantry (PPMG). There were no awardees for the PPMG this time. In all, the home ministry today declared that a total of 795 police personnel have been named as awardees of various types of medals. This includes the President’s Police Medal for distinguished service to 75 personnel and police medal for meritorious service to 613 cops. “In a departure from tradition, the maximum number (382) of medals were awarded to the lowest ranks of policemen — constables and havildars — followed by 183 to the assistant sub-inspectors, sub-inspectors and inspector ranks, 116 to deputy superintendents of police and assistant commandant ranks and only 10 of these went to the senior ranks of deputy inspector general and inspector general. Over 200 militants have been killed in these operations last year in the Valley — the highest in the last seven years.

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