The barbaric incident at the LoC in Kashmir in which the body of an Indian army jawan was mutilated after being killed by terrorists sparked an outrage on Saturday even as a pall of gloom descended on his native village in Haryana.
Union minister Jitendra Singh condemned the mutilation of the soldier's body as "atrocious" while senior Congress leader Manish Tewari called it "depraved behaviour".
The jawan's family members demanded that Pakistan be taught a lesson for harbouring terrorists while former army officers expressed their sadness.
The slain soldier's brother Sandeep Singh demanded that the family wanted 10 Pakistani heads for the price of one.
Terrorists, aided by the cover fire by Pakistani Army, last night crossed the Line-of-Control (LoC) and killed sepoy Mandeep Singh and mutilated his body in Macchil sector of Kupwara district.
The family members of the 30-year-old martyr were inconsolable. Several women from Aantehri village in Kurukshetra reached the martyr's house and tried to console Mandeep's widow.
The couple had got married two years ago, family members said. Mandeep's widow Prerna is a head constable with the Haryana Police and posted at Shahbad Markanda in Kurukshetra.
Mandeep's father said the Indian Army should give a befitting reply to Pakistan.
"It was his duty, he has done it. He sacrificed his life. We should give a befitting reply to Pakistan," he said, adding that he got the news of his son's death when army personnel visited him at his home at 1am.
Prerna said Pakistan must be taught a lesson for harbouring terrorists.
"Pakistan should be taught a lesson once for all so that no other family of a soldier has to go through such pain," she said breaking down several times. She said that Mandeep had come for vacation six months back. "He was supposed to visit home again on Diwali but his leave was cancelled in view of the tension on the border at Machil sector."
Kurukshetra's deputy commissioner Sumedha Kataria also visited the jawan's home and offered her condolences. The martyr's neighbours described him as a "go getter" who always had a smile on his face.
Subhash, husband of the Sarpanch of the village, said Mandeep was a helpful person who always offered help to anyone who approached him in need. "There can't be anything more atrocious than this (on terrorists mutilated the body of a soldier)," Jitendra Singh told reporters in Jammu.
"I am always of the view that the human rights of soldiers should enjoy precedence over human rights of anybody else", he said.
"These are acts of cowardice and these are happening at the time of desperation of the part of the Pakistan army as well as Islamabad. Indian forces are capable of standing upto this challenge."
Tewari while condemning the multilation as "absolutely depraved behaviour" said it "violates you as a human being". "There are certain rules of engagement and conduct even in a conflict situation. Pakistan is expected to respect the rules of engagement," he said.
"I am very sad being a soldier. It is a very sad mentality to take your anger on an injured or dead person," said Maj Gen (retd) B C Khanduri.