Srinagar: Protesters on Monday attacked an Army school and made a vain bid to set it ablaze over the killing of two youths in alleged army firing which Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said negated attempts by Centre to bridge "emotional distance" between Jammu and Kashmir and rest of the country.
The attack on the school in Hajin area of Bandipora district took place even as normal life across Kashmir Valley was affected due to the strike called by separatist groups to protest against the killing of the two youths in the district.
"A group of miscreants tried to set a school building on fire at Hajin but the blaze was put out by fire tenders in time," a police spokesman said.
He said there was no major damage to the building by the miscreants who were chased away by law enforcing agencies.
However, sources said furniture of two class rooms was damaged in the incident.
Omar while expressing his outrage at the "tragic" and "avoidable" incident symbolically referred to the launch of rail link between Banihal in Jammu with Qazigund in Kashmir Valley five days ago.
"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 Chief Minister said.
"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 released by his office.
Omar 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.
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.
Shops, business establishments, educational institutions, banks and private offices remained closed due to the strike called by separatist groups.
Public transport was off the roads in most parts of the Valley but buses carrying government employees to Civil Secretariat plied at the designated time in the morning.