Troopers vacate Hotel Management Institute campus
STUDENTS, FACULTY HEAVE SIGH OF RELIEF
Srinagar, Oct 14: After more than 19 years of its occupation, the Central Reserve Police Force has finally vacated from the buildings which were few years back allotted to the Institute of Hotel Management at Rajbagh here.
The presence of troopers inside the campus has triggered unrest among the students, mostly non-local who had recently threatened to leave the institute in case the troopers were not withdrawn.
Earlier, Greater Kashmir had carried a story highlighting the concerns of the students, particularly the girls, who felt uncomfortable with troopers around.
Seeing the troopers vacate the campus buildings at Rajbagh here, the students heaved a sigh of relief saying they would now have an “academic environment” rather than being surrounded by armed troopers.
Academic coordinator and senior faculty member Malik Altaf said, “Since our intake strength has increased considerably we were facing severe shortage of the space as the hostel blocks were under troopers’ occupation.”
“We in fact were committed to provide hostel accommodation to our students at the time of their admission in this Institute. So we wanted the hostel blocks to be ready before our session started from third week of July,” he added.
The troopers had been occupying the buildings which were later turned into Hotel Management Institute hostel blocks and staff accommodation since 1989-90.
“The only building that was available with us for the academic purpose was the main building,” said Altaf.
Faculty members said the blocks were occupied by different troopers including BSF and CRPF. Finally, the blocks were under the occupation of 21 BN-CRPF.
“The blocks that have been vacated are mostly damaged, so now we will soon be renovating them,” said Faheem Ahmad, a faculty member.
“Then we will also expand the hostel area, so that more blocks could be come up there,” he said.
Pertinently, the building that was occupied by the CRPF troopers is located in the midst of the other hostel buildings and adjacent to girls’ hostel. Surrounding the building were a chain of bunkers and some urinals with barricades put around.
Vehicles of the troopers would remain parked in the parking area of the institute namely M T Park.
With troops putting up in the building next to theirs, the girl students, all of whom are non-locals, said they felt insecure all the time.
They said they had to pass between the barricades to reach the hostel, which, they said, would be very difficult for them.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 14 Oct 2009 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 14 Oct 2009 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 15 Oct 2009 00:00:00 IST
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