A Durga Puja committee in Kolkata is decorating its pandal (marquee) this year on the theme of Balakot air strikes, in which Indian Air Force (IAF)jets had bombed a terror outfit's training camp in Pakistan.
The Young Boys Club Sarbojanin Durga Puja Committee in central Kolkata is recreating the events of the air strike with clay models and digital projection on its 50th anniversary of conducting the annual fiesta. "Sixty five models of approaching IAF personnel and fleeing and dead terrorists will be placed at the entrance to the pandal with a model of an IAF aircraft hovering over it,"the committee's spokesperson said.
He said a life-size model of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will greet the visitors to the pandal.
Wing Commander Varthaman was captured by the Pakistan Army after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down by Pakistani jets in a dogfight on February 27, a day after the strike. Before his jet was hit, Wing Commander Varthaman had downed an F-16 fighter of the Pakistan Air Force. He was released by Pakistan on March 1.
"What better an occasion than the 50th year of our Durga Puja to remind the revelers visiting our pandal and to educate our children about the achievement of IAF pilots," he said.
The spokesperson said the forest cover surrounding the targeted camp would be recreated through digital projection. The models are being crafted by artisans from Purba Medinipur district, he said.
The air strikes in Pakistan's Balakot was conducted by the IAF after a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama on February 14 had claimed the lives of 40 personnel. Meanwhile, another Durga Puja pandal is getting decorated on a theme on various wings of the Kolkata Police. "We will pay tributes to Kolkata Police through digital projection and display of clay models on Bomb Squad,River Traffic Police, Dog Squad, Cyber Crime Cell and Mounted Police wings of the force," said a spokesperson of Kailash Bose Street Puja Committee in north Kolkata.