Srinagar: Describing as tragic the death of two youths allegedly in army firing, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said such "avoidable" incidents negate attempts being made by the Centre to bridge the emotional distance between the state and rest of the country.
"I do not have the words to express my grief and outrage over this gruesome incident that was eminently avoidable and needless," Omar said in a statement issued by his office.
While referring to the launch of rail link between Banihal in Jammu with Qazigund in Kashmir Valley five days ago, Omar said, "The death of two youngsters at the peak of their lives and with so much to look forward to is tragic. They lengthen the symbolic shortening of the emotional distance, made possible by the railway tunnel, between Kashmiris and the country."
The two youths were killed and another was injured in two incidents of firing at Markundal in Sumbal area of Bandipora in the wee hours on Sunday.
This is besides the fact that, by itself, life is sacred- a precious gift from the Almighty, Omar said.
"Losing it to needless violence is the ultimate tragedy and a loss that is irreparable. Those who dare to challenge this right, by omission or commission, are made to pay a price, the kind that serves as a cautionary example to other," he said.
The chief minister said, "My heart beats with the grief stricken hearts of the bereaved families. If I could bring back the two youth, I would leave no stone unturned to do so but alas no human being has that power."
Omar said his words are not meant as rhetoric to heal wounds that will never get healed, but are an attempt to shoulder and bear the grief of the bereaved families and console them.
"I also laud the bereaved families and the communities of which the boys were part of, for maintaining a sense of proportion and calm in the face of adversity and a tense situation, and not allowing their sentiments and emotions to be taken advantage of and exploited," he added.
The chief minister said the death of two youth has hardened his resolve and determination to make the state of Jammu and Kashmir into an example where life is sacred and the right to life is protected by the law.
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