20, Oct 2015
Written by Bashaarat Masood | Srinagar | Published:October 20, 2015 1:48 am
Rameez Ahmad Bhat, 26, was driving the truck that was attacked in Udhampur on October 9. While Zahid Ahmad Bhat, 20, who worked as the conductor, died on Sunday, the other injured, Showkat Ahmad, is still undergoing treatment in New Delhi. Speaking to Bashaarat Masood, Rameez recalls the night of the attack.
It was my last trip on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway. I am not going to drive on this road again. In fact, I am not going to drive a truck anymore.
We had loaded our truck with coal at Madhopur in Punjab, before leaving for Kashmir. Zahid was excited… we had already started planning our next trip… We stopped at Narwal bypass in Jammu and had tea from a roadside stall. Showkat soon fell asleep. I switched off the cabin lights. Zahid was silent as he listened to music.
It was around 10:30 pm. As we were passing through Udhampur city, two men asked us to stop. When I stopped the truck, they shouted: “Haan, Kashmiri hi hain (Yes, they are Kashmiris)”.
Suddenly, a group of men appeared — I could see 8-10 men. They first threw stones at our vehicle, and then threw petrol bombs. I lost control of the truck. It skidded and hit an electric pole. I jumped out.