IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has been returned to India at the Wagah-Attari border two days after he was captured by Pakistan during an intense aerial dogfight. Wing Commander Varthaman was received by the Border Security Officials. Hundreds of media personnel are at the Attari border that separates India from Pakistan and millions of Indians glued to their TV sets and social media accounts to watch the homecoming of the IAF pilot.
Wing Commander Abhinandan was brought by Pakistani authorities from Rawalpindi to Lahore and handed over first to the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) under rules of the Geneva Convention before being brought to the check post to return home.
Dressed in a blue suit, Wing Commander Abhinandan was officially received by a delegation of officials of the Indian Air Force at the Wagah border amid high security.
Security personnel and media crew waited for Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s homecoming after two days in Pakistani captivity, “procedural delays” and “documentation problems” were cited as the reason for the hold-up.
To restrict the crowds, an elaborate flag-lowering ceremony at the Wagah crossing between Indian and Pakistani soldiers, which draws thousands of spectators on both sides, was cancelled.
The masses poured their tributes to the Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot, who showed exemplary fortitude and courage while in Pakistan’s captivity.
The Wing Commander shot down a Pakistani F-16–part of a package of 24 jets violating Indian air space– before his MiG 21 was hit. He ejected in time, but his parachute drifted to the Pakistani side of the Line of Control. He was captured after being attacked by a mob.
Despite being injured, the senior pilot was not nervous in Pakistan’s custody and politely refused to answer queries on his mission. A number of videos of the Wing Commander in custody were tweeted from Pakistani handles.
He is asked in one of the videos about the aircraft he was flying. “I am sorry, Major. I am not supposed to tell you this but I am sure you have found the wreckage,” he replies.
What was his mission? “I am sorry, I am not supposed to tell you this”.
Pakistani Telivisions Have Shared An Edited Video Of Abhinandan
— Not Arun Jaitley (@ArainJutley) March 1, 2019
IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman may take some time to fly again
According to defence experts, over the next few days, Abhinandan Varthaman will undergo a series of medical tests, physical examinations and other assessments.
Abhinandan will also undergo mental assessment and emotional assessment after spending two days in captivity in Pakistan. He was captured by the Pakistani army, blindfolded and interrogated on record videos of which were circulated on social media by the Pakistani authorities.
After his MiG 21 crashed and he ejected from the fighter jet, Abhinandan Varthaman suffered injuries. In the videos that were circulated by Pakistan in violation of the Geneva Convention Abhinandan could be seen being thrashed and abused by locals in Pakistan.
Abhinandan had bruises on his face with blood streaming down. According to Pakistani media reports, he was also shot at by some locals when he landed on enemy territory on Wednesday.
According to experts, Abhinandan will now undergo a series of examinations to determine if he is fit enough to continue flying fighter jets. (India Today).
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