The night before Holi, an effigy of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar was set on fire in Mumbai as part of the "Holika Dahan" ritual, which celebrates the victory of good over evil. In another Mumbai locality, a bonfire was made with photos of Masood Azhar and Dawood Ibrahim.
In Mumbai's Worli, locals put up a giant effigy of Masood Azhar, clad in white and holding up an assault rifle, on top of a haystack. The word "terrorist" was labeled on the haystack in Hindi. A toy rocket attached to a wire, with a flame lit ahead of it, was propelled towards the Jaish chief's effigy as locals chanted "Vande Mataram". The effigy went up in flames as soon as the "rocket" hit it.
France had recently moved a resolution to designate Masood Azhar a global terrorist in the United Nations Security Council, but the move was vetoed by China. The Pakistan-based JeM had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack in February which killed 40 CRPF soldiers.
India had responded to the attack with an air strike targeting a JeM camp in Pakistan's Balakot.
In another neighbourhood, Shiv Sena leader Rahul Shewala organised the burning of a bonfire with photos of Masood Azhar, Dawood Ibrahim and 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed. "Evil should be destroyed and that is why today we burned photos of Masood Azhar, Dawood and Hafiz Saeed," the Shiv Sena leader said.
"Whether it is the Pulwama attack or other terror attacks in India, these three have been the culprits and they must be interrogated," he said. "In the coming days, every Indian's dream will come true. Dawood Ibrahim will be brought back to India and Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed will be investigated," he added.
A replica of the Pakistani F-16 fighter jet was also set to be burnt in another locality in Mumbai.
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