Denoting the triumph of good over evil, an effigy of Pakistan, along with Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhakarna, was burnt in the holy city on Tuesday.
The festivity was all around the city, but a high- profile Dussehra event was witnessed at Ranjit Avenue, where thousands thronged the ground to be part of this unusual and unique festivity, which was organised by Cabinet minister Anil Joshi.
The Pakistan effigy became a talk of the town as was visible from a distance. The green effigy was around 40 feet tall and its face had pictures of Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif, army chief Raheel Sharif and terrorist Masood Azhar.
Various dignitaries from the city, defence personnel and residents attended the event. Arrangements for about 12,000 people were made with a proper parking space and extra police force deployed on the occasion. But, around 5,000 people attended the event.
People from all walks of life and sections of society gathered there. The spirit among youngsters seemed high. They eagerly waited for the effigies to be set afire. The sitting areas were jam-packed, people were busy chitchatting while children were running around wearing masks of Lord Rama, Hanuman etc. All were in a festive mood.
Talking about his idea of a Pakistani effigy, Joshi said, “Pakistan should be sent a message in the language they understand. The burning of the effigy is a message to Pakistan that if they do not stop disturbing peace in our country, their fate would be the same as that of Ravana.”
“Pakistan is also acting like Ravana. They have killed our jawans, attacked our establishments and also used terrorists against India. So, the need of the hour is to send a strong message across the border that the way evil is burnt every year on Dussehra, the same would be their fate, if they do not amend their actions,” he said. “There can be a section of people who would condemn the idea, but I am sure the majority would appreciate it as the environment, which has been created because of Pakistan, has given a lot of trouble to the people of our border areas and others,” he added.
Earlier, the chief guest at the event was supposed to be Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, but at the last minute, he had to go to the US. So, Punjab BJP general secretary Dinesh Kumar attended the event as chief guest. Mayor Bakshi Ram Arora , police commsioner AS Chahal, DCP J Elanchezhian, and others were seen at the event.
ANTI-PAKISTAN SLOGANS RAISED
GURDASPUR: The festival was celebrated with traditional fervour at the Government College Sports Stadium here. Hundreds of the people witnessed the burning of the effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhakarna. An effigy of Pakistan Pm Nawaz Sharif was also burnt among the shouting of slogans of ‘Pakistan Murdabad’ (Down with Pakistan) before the three other effigies were torched.
There was anger among the people against Pakistan for abetting terrorists to carry out terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of India. They, however, were also proud of the Indian government for carrying out surgical strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Local MLA Gurbachan Singh Babbehali, who was the chief guest, and set the effigies afire, announced a grant of `1 lakh for the Dussehra Mela Committee, that organised the gala festival. He congratulated the people on the occasion.
Meanwhile, Dussehra was also celebrated at the Improvement Trust Scheme No. 7 on the Tibri road with Gurdaspur district BJP president Ashok Vaid as chief guest. The celebrations were also reported from Dinanagar and Dhariwal.
‘EFFIGY BURNING A MESSAGE TO PAK’
PATHANKOT: Residents of Sujanpur here, led by Congress leader Vinay Mahajan and others, set ablaze an effigy of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif along with effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhkarna on Dussehra.
The event, which was to be attended by Rajya Sabha member Partap Singh Bajwa, was later attended by his younger brother Fateh Jang Singh Bajwa.
The effigy was wrapped in the Pakistani flag. Mahajan said that residents wanted to convey a message to Pakistan for their misdeeds by burning the effigy of their PM.