Amid mysterious knock at door, hostel girls spend sleepless night

Admin to seal boarding facility; Warden, landlord held; Parents asked to be extra-cautious

SYED IMRAN ALI HAMDANI

Srinagar, Jan 10: Mysterious knocking on their hostel door, windows and even rooftop in the dead of the dark haunted some two dozen girls who spent the night sleepless in Parray Pora area of the City. The authorities have decided to seal the hostel while police detained its warden and the landlord.
 The complainants said the horror tales started Friday night when somebody repeatedly knocked the doors of hostel running from a private building. The hostellers happen to be girls from other districts, putting up in this south City locality for coaching mostly for classes 11th and 12th.
 “After knocking, some people could be heard walking on the roof. This continued for the whole night,” the girls recapped. This morning the worried students called their parents who rushed to the spot.
 The parents lodged a report with Police Station Sadder while by afternoon the District Magistrate Farooq Ahmed Shah was informed about the complaints that apart from safety, the hostel had failed to provide even basic facilities to the students.
 On DM’s directives an official team lead by Assistant Commissioner Nazool Syed Sajad Qadri along with police rushed to the spot. Though officials consoled the girls and their parents that they need not worry, the scene was shocking.
 Witnesses said the officials were shocked to see that the hostel running from a private house had no proper warden or safety measures in place. “The warden happens to be some boy from south Kashmir, who in a proxy had kept some girl to look after the hostel,” said a police official privy to the visit.
 The girls told the visiting team that not only the doors and windows but someone even knocked the rooftop in the past. Officials said the complaints were genuine. “As we climbed the building roof, we found the complaints true as some footprints were visible there,” the officials said.
 “Even the boarding facility was not proper. Five to six girls have been crammed into small cabins made in cardboard by compartmentalization of normal size rooms,” the officials said.
 A police official said from the “safety point of view, the facility is a disaster in the making.” “Some sensitive spots  were uncovered which could have been misused for taking unwitting pictures,” said an official.
 Shocked, the team argued with the parents. “How do you send your daughters to such a place when you don’t know who runs the facility and how?” Sajad Qadri asked the parents appealing them to be extra-cautious in selecting any hostel facility for their wards.
 The District Magistrate said the facility would be sealed Saturday. “We had to keep it open for today as the girls were yet to find any alternative accommodation,” the DM told Greater Kashmir.
 Asked what about their safety for the night, Shah said: “A police team has been kept on vigil.” The DM appealed the parents to be extra-cautious in sending their wards to such facilities. 
 But the concerned SDPO Feroz Qadri said the complaints pertained only about lack of “basic facilities”. “It seems to be an issue with regard to fee charged and absence of basic facilities.”

Lastupdate on : Fri, 10 Jan 2014 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 10 Jan 2014 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 11 Jan 2014 00:00:00 IST




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