SRINAGAR: Government forces on Friday started vacating the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura premises where they had set up a bunker in a building 25 years ago.
The huge bunker was located outside the hospital’s medical emergency department. The forces had established it in the 1990s, and since then it remained under their control, much to the annoyance of patients and attendants. After the Border Security Force (BSF) was shifted from Srinagar, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) took over the building. Currently, the building was occupied by the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).
CRPF spokesperson Sanjay Sharma confirmed to Kashmir Reader that the bunker would be vacated by the SSB.
“The SSB has started the process of vacating the SKIMS premises. It will take some time for the vacating process to be complete,” he said.
The removal of the bunker is an immense relief for employees at SKIMS as well as for the public.
A SKIMS official said that the building was meant for an animal house but was later turned into a camp during the peak of armed militancy in the region. “The building was under construction during the peak of militancy and the BSF personnel barged in to occupy the premises,” he said.
SKIMS Medical Superintendent Dr Farooq Jan told Kashmir Reader that the hospital’s administration will renovate the building after it is fully vacated.
“The building has many breakages. The SSB has taken along wiring and other things. It is in a pretty bad condition,” he said.
He said that he took a team of engineers from the Civil, Mechanical and Estates department along on Friday to assess the building.
“They termed the building unsafe and said that it need complete renovation,” Jan added.