Gurdaspur terror attack: Bus driver, villagers saved many lives

Dinanagar (Punjab): The alertness and bravery of a bus driver saved several lives as terrorists launched an attack in Punjab's Dinanagar town in Gurdaspur dictrict on Monday.

Punjab Roadways driver Nanak Chand did not panic even when the terrorists fired at the bus and instead scared the terrorists by driving towards them.

As the terrorists, numbering four, moved back, the driver swerved the bus and drove it away.

Police personnel during an encounter with militants who attacked a police station at Dinanagar in Gurdaspur district on Monday. Pic/PTI 

Since shots were fired at the bus, Nanak Chand drove it straight to a government hospital to get the injured passengers treated. He also called up the police to inform about the incident.

"There were 75 passengers in the bus. I thought that it was important to save their lives. I did not stop the bus," Nanak Chand told journalists.

The incident took place around 5.30 a.m. on Monday.

"The driver's alertness saved several lives. Otherwise, the passengers could have been an easy target for the terrorists," said a Punjab Roadways general manager.

Nanak Chand was not the only one to save lives.

A major tragedy was averted nearby as alert villagers near Parmanand railway station spotted five bombs wired to a small bridge on the Amritsar-Pathankot railway section.

The bombs were detected minutes before a passenger train was to cross the bridge. The train was stopped 200 metres from the bombs.

Railway authorities stopped all trains on the section as the army and Punjab Armed Police bomb disposal squads were called to defuse the bombs.

Seven people were killed when terrorists attacked Dinanagar town in Gurdaspur district early, sparking a gun battle with security forces that ended hours later. All terrorists were also killed.

Kamal, a Dinanagar resident, told reporters: "The terrorists fired indiscriminately near the bus stand and then hijacked a Maruti car after injuring its driver. They later killed the dhaba owner and went towards the police station."

He said since the attack took place early in the morning, not too many people were present at the bus stand. "Many lives got saved since the area was barren then."

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