The death toll in the clashes that followed Hizbul Mujahideen chief Burhan Wani's death, has now touched 37. The number of people injured in the protests is said to have reached 1600 and some people have been admitted to hospitals in the state with critical injuries. Like in several other towns, life has taken a hit in Bijbehara in south Kashmir. When the body of a local killed in the protests -- 22-year-old resident Amir Nazir Latoo -- was brought in, Bijbehara too reached a flashpoint. However, the continued protests against the state machinery hasn't wiped empathy and humanity off Kashmir.
So when a bus carrying Amarnath pilgrims rammed into a truck, locals in Muslim-dominated Bijbehara swiftly got into action. Without letting the protests or curfew come in their way, residents of Sangam and Halmula in Bijbehara, rushed to help the victims. According to a report on Greater Kashmir, Bilal Ahmad Mir, the driver of the bus was killed on spot. A pilgrim too died there.
Greater Kashmir reports: "Later people from Bijbehara town, who were mourning the death of a native Aamir Latoo, defied curfew and went to the hospital to assist the staff in treating the injured pilgrims. They also accompanied two of the critically-injured pilgrims to a Srinagar hospital."
Muhammad Faisal, a local, who was helping transport the injured to hospitals told the paper: "We didn't do any favor to the pilgrims. Being humans we are duty-bound to rescue people irrespective of their religious affiliations, as and when such accidents take place."
The report also quotes Varun Kushi, a pilgrim who said that the locals were proactive in helping them, not the police or Army. "Police and army men also came to accident spot, but didn't extend any sort of help to us. It was locals who, without wasting even a minute, rushed us to nearby hospital for immediate and timely treatment," he said.