The terrorist attack on the CRPF convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway near Awantipora killed 42 and left more than 30 severely injured on Thursday afternoon. They are just the latest killings in the troubled Kashmir region, long a tinderbox where Islamic militants battle against the rule of New Delhi. In recent years, there has been a steady rise in local recruits to terrorist units, as well as cross-border infiltration by militants, such as members of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad group.
Perhaps sensing the mood of national fury released by the attack, New Delhi sent a strong message to Islamabad on Friday, withdrawing the latter’s Most Favored Nation status with immediate effect.
But far beyond political chambers, the attack’s aftershocks were felt in villages nationwide. As news of the deaths of soldiers from more than 16 states reached their respective districts, anguished Indians commiserated – and took to the streets in protest.