Gujarati bus driver Sheikh Salim Gafur, who defied militants' bullets and saved 52 Amarnath pilgrims, has been awarded the 'Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak', the second highest honour given to civilians for gallantry.
This was announced by the Home Ministry ahead of the Republic Day today.
Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak is the highest honour given to civilians for gallantry.
Gafur has been selected for the honour as he displayed some rare grit and bravery and continued to drive the bus of the Amarnath pilgrims, which came under attack by the 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 of Jammu and Kashmir while around 52 other bus passengers escaped unharmed due to the presence of mind and bravery of the driver.
Besides, the award, Gafur will also be honoured with Rs one lakh cash at a special function later.