Gurdaspur | The terrorists might have succeeded in creating a spectre of much bigger bloodshed but for an agile bus driver who sped away 76 passengers to safety amid hail of bullets and watchful villagers who stopped a train from running over an explosives-laden track the same morning.
They further appeared to have run out of luck in taking policemen’s families as hostages as securitymen on a hot pursuit flushed them out sooner they got in the family quarters within Dinanagar police station premises.
In 11 hours long operation four policemen, and four civilians died. Four terrorists were liquidated by the security forces and one was caught alive.
The bus was full with 76 passengers and I was taking it out of the bus stand. A car suddenly came to the side, overtook and came in front on the bus. A hand came out the window and started waving at me to stop, said Nanak Chand, the driver of the bus.
I asked the conductor why he is asking to stop when bus was already full. I did not stop. But they again waved vigorously, wanting me to stop. Then they suddenly applied brakes, forcing the bus to stop. A man came out, his face was covered, but by the time two gunshots were fired at the bus, Mr Chand said, describing the scene.
I realised the bus has been attacked I backed the bus a little, quickly put it in gear and sped off. They started firing but I swerved the bus left and right and sped away. God saved us all, he added.
Just about 2.5 km away, a larger tragedy was averted as the morning walkers spotted some plastic bags tied with wires which turned out to be explosives.
The Pathankot-Dinanagar train which was about to pass, was stopped just about 50 metres away from the small bridge on a rivulet which was booby-trapped. Later, the bomb disposal squad defused the bombs.
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