Balakot airstrike is the theme for this Durga Puja pandal in Kolkata
The airstrike by Indian Air Force (IAF) on Pakistan’s Balakot with models of defence personnel, terrorists and an aircraft hovering over them is the theme of the marquee of this Durga Puja committee in Kolkata.
The Young Boys Club Sarbojanin Durga Puja Committee in central Kolkata has recreated the IAF’s February airstrike on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM)’s terror camp in Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province with clay models and digital projection on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.
Models of Indian Air Force personnel and terrorists with weapons in their hands and an aircraft hovering over them have been shown in the pandal.
A life-size model of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, the IAF pilot who became the face of a tense military confrontation between India and Pakistan in February, has also been placed.
The 36-year-old IAF pilot was captured by Pakistan’s army on February 27 after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistani jets during aerial combat.
Before his jet was hit, he downed an F-16 fighter of Pakistan. Abhinandan was released on the night of March 1 by Pakistan.
IAF’s Mirage fighter jets had hit three targets in Balakot with five Israeli-origin Spice 2000 bombs on February 26. The action followed a suicide bombing claimed by the terror group that killed 40 troopers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama on February 14.
Kolkata, often described often as the biggest open-air art-installation during Durga Puja, has pandals showcasing the best murals, themes and artwork.
Thousands of people go “pandal-hopping” during the 10 days of festivities dedicated to the 10-armed Goddess Durga as the best of them are offered awards for their themes, idols and decoration.