Srinagar Police at work to restore heritage of a British Raj police station

June 17th, 2008 - 9:03 pm ICT by ANI  

By Afzal Butt
Srinagar, June 17 (ANI): Jammu and Kashmir police department is renovating the hundred years old building at district police lines Srinagar to convert it into a museum.
The initiative is part of a drive in which the police have started a drive to renovate some historical buildings at different places in Kashmir valley. And, the district police line is one of them where the historical police station is located.
The objective is to convert this building into a museum.
The two-storied building of this police station is more then hundred years old and it was in bad condition before nine months.
The two-storey brick-and- wood building housing the police station was built in the 19th Century and is one of the few buildings in Srinagar that still retains traditional Kashmir architecture.
Once it is restored to its original glory, the police department wants to change this historical building into a beautiful museum. We got the idea of renovation of this building after looking at a 75-year-old photograph. By keeping the image in our mind, we have tried to rebuild the same structure with the help of old materials. I hope that this project will be completed very soon and shifted into one beautiful museum,” said Syed Afhadul Mujtaba, the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Srinagar.
“The most crucial part of this project is that the labour work is done by our own workers in the police department and not any outsider,” Mujtaba added while adding that the project will cost about rupees 800,000.
It’s a depleted 1933 Black and White photograph of about 30 men in uniform, standing in front of a beautiful wooden structure.
Using this photograph as a reference, the policemen under the Srinagar district police lines have been at work since November 2007 to restore this heritage building to its original glory.
This image shows a few policemen who worked during the British Raj-era in Srinagar. And, a closer look at the photograph reveals the standing individuals’ names as the Inspector General of Police W.H Archbold, the Superintendent of Police Wazir Mohammed along with other men of the police department.
“Whoever is working here as a mason, carpenter or an electrician, all of them are from the police department. We have put forward our best efforts to reconstruct it into the same structure,” said Hilal Ahmed, a mason constable.
After restoration of this historical police station is done, the department plans to transform it into a historical museum, which will be fruitful for preserving such heritages.
The Jammu and Kashmir police department started the renovation on this 100-year-old building to make it into a museum. The two-storyed structure of this police station was in a very bad condition nine months back.
“Earlier, we had to suffer several inconveniences due to the awful condition of the building. We faced electricity and water problems. There were not much windows or doors in the building. But thankfully, we renovated it into a new improved structure,” said Mohammad Lateef, an electrician constable. (ANI)

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