Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said incidents like the killing of two youth lengthen the distance between the state and the rest of the country which was intended to be shortened by the railway tunnel across the Pir Panjal range.
In an emotional statement to the media, Abdullah expressed grief over the death of two youngsters, calling it a gruesome incident that was eminently avoidable and needless.
"The deaths of Tariq Ahmad Laharwal and Irfan Ahmad Ganaie - two youngsters at the peak of their lives and with so much to look forward to - are tragic."
"They lengthen the symbolic shortening of the emotional distance, made possible by the railway tunnel, between Kashmiris and the country. This is besides the fact that, by itself, life is sacred - a precious gift from the Almighty."
"Losing it to needless violence is the ultimate tragedy and a loss that is irreparable...."
He said he had no words to express his grief and outrage.
"My heart beats with the grief-stricken hearts of the bereaved families. If I could bring back Tariq and Irfan, I would leave no stone unturned to do so but alas, no human being has that power," he said.
Noting 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", Abdullah said he lauded the youth's families and communities 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".
Two people were killed in Markundal village in north Kashmir's Bandipora district, some 40 km from Srinagar, on Sunday allegedly in firing by security forces. The army has ordered an investigation into the incident and assured action against anybody found guilty.