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Balakot air strike comes to a puja pandal near you

Kolkata: A Durga Puja committee in Kolkata has replicated scenes of Balakot air strike, in which the Indian Air Force (IAF) jets had bombed a terror outfit's training camp in Pakistan, as its Durga puja pandal this year. The Young Boys Club Sarbojanin Durga Puja Committee in Central Kolkata, which is celebrating golden jubilee this year, is recreating the events of the air strike with clay models and digital projection at its pandal.

Over 65 models have been erected to depict the air strike. A life-size model of IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be the main attraction for visitors.

"Sixty-five models of IAF personnel and terrorists will be placed at the pandal's entrance with a model of an IAF aircraft hovering over it. We will create both the Indian and Pakistan sides to depict the air strike accurately," Vikrant Singh, youth president of the puja committee, told The Indian Express.

Before his jet was hit, Abhinandan Varthaman had downed an F-16 fighter of the Pakistan Air Force. He was captured by the Pakistani army and was released on March 1. "We wanted to celebrate our 50th year in a big way. Through this particular theme we want to spread awareness among visitors on the achievement of IAF pilots," added Singh

He said the forest cover surrounding the targeted camp has been recreated through digital projection. The models are being crafted by artisans from East Midnapore district. A model of MIG-21, which Varthaman was flying, has been installed at the pandal.

The air strikes in Pakistan's Balakot was conducted by the IAF following a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama on February 14. The attack had claimed the lives of 40 personnel.

(With inputs from Indian Express)

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