As they mourned the loss of four CRPF men from Punjab, the grief of families and villagers was etched with anger as they demanded that Pakistan be given a befitting reply over the Pulwama attack.
The four personnel were among the 40 killed in the attack a Central Reserve Paramilitary Force (CRPF) convoy on Thursday.
Jaimal Singh from Kot ise Kham village in Moga, Sukhjinder Singh from Gandiwind village in Tarn Taran, Kulwinder Singh from Rauli village in Anandpur Sahib and Maninder Singh Attri from Arya Nagar village in Gurdsapur died in the attack.
Heartbreaking scenes were witnessed in the villages as families mourned the loss of their loved ones.
Locals gathered in large numbers to join the mourning and expressed pride in the jawans' sacrifice for the country and demanded that Pakistan be given a befitting reply.
Jaimal Singh was the driver of the bus that was blown up by a suicide bomber who rammed his explosive-laden SUV into it on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in Awantipora area.
His father, Jaswant Singh, said he was proud of Jaimal for sacrificing his life for the motherland. He said his son had spoken to his wife and five-year-old son on Tuesday night.
In Tarn Taran's Gandiwind village, located near Amritsar, the family of 35-year-old Sukhjinder Singh was inconsolable. He had recently joined duty after a long vacation, villagers said.
Panchayat member Angrez Singh said Sukhjinder had got married five to six years back and he was the father to an infant boy.
"He was very patriotic. Since childhood, he wanted to join the armed forces. The entire village is in shock and disbelief and there is anger among people. They want that Pakistan be given a befitting reply," he said.
Sepoy Kulwinder Singh (26), who hailed from Rauli village Anandpur Sahib district, was engaged and he was to get married in November this year, a local said.
Kulwinder's father was a bus driver and his mother a housewife, the villager said, adding that he had joined the force four years back.
He said that while the family was in grief-stricken and there was anger among villagers, who wanted Pakistan to be taught a lesson.
The terror attack triggered angry protests at several places in Punjab and Haryana and people burnt effigies of Pakistan and terrorism, raising slogans against the neighbouring countries.
Schoolchildren also took out marches in some areas.
"What is our government waiting for. How many sacrifices will our soldiers have to make? This needs to stop," said Jagtar Singh, who was part of one such march taken out in Kurukshetra.
Earlier on Friday, the Punjab Assembly strongly condemned the terror attack and the House was adjourned the day. In solidarity with those killed, legislators cutting across party lines unanimously passed a resolution for adjournment of the proceedings for the day.
Forty CRPF personnel were killed on Thursday in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kgs explosives into their bus.