The entire country mourned martyrdom of 40 CRPF soldiers this year. On February 14, the soldiers became victims of the worst ever terror attack to hit Kashmir in decades.
India avenged their sacrifices by bombing the camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed, the notorious terror outfit which planned the attack.
Worryingly though, politicians including PM Narendra Modi soon started politicizing the issue. But the father of a martyr thinks this isn't right.
Father of martyr spoke on unforgettable tragedy
Mahesh Kumar, a resident of a village called Tudihar Badal Ka Purwa which is close to Prayagraj-Mirzapur highway, lost his life in the terror attack.
He is survived by his wife Sanju Devi and two sons, Samar (6) and Sahil (5).
Speaking to HT, Mahesh's father Raj Kumar said they are still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.
Unhappy with politics being played over attack: Martyr's father
"The entire village is proud of Mahesh but we are extremely unhappy over the politics being played over the attack. Polls are being contested in the name of soldiers but not much is being done for their family and children," Raj told the daily.
They have received compensation but other promises remain unfulfilled
Though the family has received compensation cheque, there are other complaints.
"(We) are yet to receive other benefits including the promise of a job to my younger son Amresh. I approached the district magistrate who asked me to meet him after elections," Raj said.
A gate was also supposed to be made in Mahesh's memory, but it seems like a distant dream, he added.
Never saw photos of families mourning death of terrorists: Raj
"There was not a single photograph to show bodies of terrorists or their families mourning their death after air strikes in Pakistan," Raj pointed out.
Raj said instead of politicizing armed forces, the government should work towards strengthening the country's security. They should focus on "development, employment, infrastructure and education to villages of martyred jawans".
Despite being upset with state-of-affairs, the family will vote.
Mahesh's wife cries for hours sometimes, his father revealed
Raj feels sad about his daughter-in-law. He revealed that sometimes she goes to Mahesh's room and cries.
"She weeps for hours and is hard to console. She has refused the government's offer for a job as she does not want to compromise with the upbringing of her two sons," he added.
Raj added martyred soldiers should be given due respect.
Disregarding rules, BJP has been talking about armed forces repeatedly
While Mahesh's family hopes armed forces aren't used for votes, the political discourse paints a completely different picture.
PM Modi has been talking about Pulwama and Balakot airstrikes in almost every speech.