Anger has overtaken grief as the families of CRPF jawans try to come to terms with their deaths in the horrific suicide bombing of a CRPF contingent in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, demanding that the killings be avenged and perpetrators taught a lesson they don't forget. "The perpetrators must be punished for killing my father, our jawans, even if it means carrying out surgical strikes across the border," demanded the daughter of CRPF Head Constable Maneswar Basumatari.
Basumatari, the head constable CRPF 98 Battalion was among the 40 soldiers who were killed in the Pulwama attack. He is survived by his daughter, Didmaswari, wife, Sunmati, and son.
"We want justice. Give a befitting reply to the cowards responsible for the Pulwama attack," said an inconsolable Didmaswari on Friday.
Talking to reporters at the family's residence in Kalabari village in Assam's Baksa district, she also demanded that the government should look after the family now.
Family of CRPF jawan Bablu Santra – who is survived by his wife, a four-year-old daughter and mother - said they wanted those dead in the brazen terror attack avenged.
"We want the killing of 'mama' (maternal uncle) and others who died with him avenged. Those behind the cowardly attack must be taught a lesson they don't forget," the jawan's nephew Raghubir Mondal said.
Santra had joined the CRPF in 2000 when he was a first-year student at Uluberia College, his nephew said. Santra eked out a living selling fish to support his family after the death of his father. "Mama was a very hard-working person. He sold fish when he was a student to support his family after my grandfather's death," said Mondal, fondly reminiscing about his slain uncle.
Meanwhile, the distraught family of Sudip Biswas, another victim of the Pulwama terrorist attack from the state, waited for his mortal remains to arrive home.
Sudip, a 27-year-old, from Nadia district of West Bengal, had joined the CRPF as a jawan in 2014.
"The body will come to Kolkata by flight via Delhi, a CRPF officer told me around 3:15 pm today. The body is in Jammu airport now. I think it will reach here tomorrow," Samapta Biswas, Sudip's brother-in-law, said.
Sudip had called up his father on Thursday to enquire about his health. Around 24 hours later, his family received a phone call enquiring about the distinguishing marks on his body. Around 9 am, the caller informed Samapta about the terrorist attack on a CRPF convoy at Pulwama.
"He asked me if there was any ring on Sudip's finger. I said no. He asked me where are the moles on his body. I informed him and the line got disconnected. Soon after, the man rang up again and said Sudip is no more," Samapta said.
Sudip's had last talked to his father Sanyashi, an agricultural labour, on Thursday morning when he was working in the field.
For the family of Tilak Raj it has been a wide pendulum swing from birth to death.
The 30-year-old from Jawali in Himachal Pradesh's Kangra district left home just three days before Thursday's strike, one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir in recent years, following the birth of his son last month.
He also leaves behind another son, just three years old, his parents and his elder brother. His parents Rama Ram and Bimala Devi said they were proud their son had laid down his life for the country. The family, and the entire village of Dhewa, was stunned when news of the attack came in.
“We have lost our son but want Pakistan to be given a forceful reply so it doesn't have the courage to carry out such an attack again," his father said.
Having spent five days with his family at his home in remote Lakkidi in Wayanad district just a week ago, VV Vasanth Kumar-- one of the CRPF personnel killed in the terror attack in Pulwama-- had just returned to join his new posting in Kashmir when tragedy struck.
The 44-year old jawan's family is finding it difficult to believe that he is no more. This is the second blow to the family as Vasanth's father Vasudevan had passed away only six months ago.
Vasanth's cousin Sajeevan said following his promotion and battalion change, his brother had been posted to Kashmir after his stint in Punjab and had come home to be with his family for a five-day holiday. He had left for Kashmir on February 8, after spending time with his family.
"My elder brother died for the country and we are proud of his sacrifice", Sajeevan told PTI.
Vasanth Kumar's mother Shanta and wife Sheena were inconsolable while his two children - son Amandeep (5) and daughter Anamika (8) - have not been informed, he said.
Not only the family members of CRPF jawans killed in the Pulwama attack, but the entire nation is also angry over the terror attack and demanding action against Pakistan.