Tribune News Service
Srinagar, July 13
A driver and a pilgrim were killed while 28 others were injured when a minibus carrying pilgrims collided with a truck near Bijbehara on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway early this morning. Local Muslims, defying curfew restrictions, risked their lives to rescue the injured Amarnath yatra pilgrims.
The accident took place when a minibus with pilgrims coming from Jammu collided with a truck coming from the opposite direction at Halmulla near Bijbehara town, officials in Anantnag said. Two persons, including a pilgrim, Pramod Kumar from Meerat in Uttar Pradesh and the truck driver, Bilal Mir from Kangan in Ganderbal, were killed in the accident, while 28 others were injured, the police said.
Locals shifted the injured to a hospital at Bijbehara in their own vehicles, while extending all help in the hospital, a senior officer in Anantnag said, describing it as an “island of hope in an ocean of despair”.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has hailed the exemplary effort of the residents of Halmulla, Bijbehara and adjoining areas who, amid trying circumstances, helped and evacuated pilgrims.
“This is the uniqueness of Kashmir’s distinct and valued culture, we must all fight to protect,” Mehbooba said. “I salute my people for this humanitarianism and compassion,” she said.
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