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Theatre of absurd: Officer reaches Srinagar for treatment, ends up in quarantine

Srinagar: This real-life story has all the ingredients of a reel life potboiler.

A hapless government officer posted in Rajouri arrived in Srinagar for treatment but ended up at a quarantine centre. Courtesy: Overzealous Officials.

Hailing from Kupwara, Bashir Ahmad Sheikh, 50, works as a senior assistant in Defence Labour Department, Rajouri for the last three and a half years.

Two years ago, he underwent surgery for stent placement in Srinagar. On May 18, he left for Srinagar for a monthly check-up. As ill-luck would have it, he got quarantined instead of getting proper treatment.

“My sorrows came in the battalion. I was first stuck for three months in the office due to the lockdown. On May 12, I had applied for the interstate district travel. It was on May 18, I left for the Srinagar after getting my flu test report and the required health certificate,” Bashir said.

However, the occurrence of landslides at Ramsoo halted his journey.

“I was stuck on the bus with 35 co-passengers for two days. To make the matter worse, I didn’t have my medicines with me. The doctor had told me he would change my medicines after doing my echocardiogram (echo). Additionally, there was no proper food or facility. As a result of which, my health deteriorated,” he said.

Soon after he reached the Tourist reception Centre on the night of May 21, a group of officials in the true filmy style arrived and took him to the quarantine centre.

“I reached here at 2:30 at night. The health officials there did my initial screening. I showed them my reports but my protests fell on deaf ears. I was instead taken to Sanat Nagar marriage hall which is designated as a quarantine centre,” he said.

A phone call, however, took him to another quarantine centre.

“While, we were at Sanat Nagar marriage hall, a phone call came and the officials told us that we will have to shift to another quarantine centre—Hotel Saba at Boulevard road,” he said.

Bashir Ahmad is staying at the hotel for the last three days and no medical staff has examined him since then.

“I rang up the health officials at TRC several times but they paid no heed. My health is worsening by the day. Please help me get out of here and see the doctor,” he said in a resigned tone.

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Pandurang K Pole said they will take cognizance of the matter. “We will try to deliver soon,” he said.