New Delhi, August 10: Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who spent some days in Pakistani custody when his MiG-21 was shot down in a dogfight with PAF jets a day after the February 26 Balakot airstrike, has reportedly cleared all tests required to rejoin the Indian Air Force (IAF). Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is likely to rejoin flying duties within the next two weeks, news agency PTI reported quoting sources.
Varthaman underwent a medical checkup at IAF’s Bangaluru-based Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM). According to PTI, the IAM cleared his return to fighter cockpit following a thorough medical evaluation. On February 27, had sustained injuries while ejecting from his MiG 21 Bison jet which 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. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman Transferred Out of Srinagar by IAF Due to Security Reasons.
During the captivity, Varthaman showed courage and grace in handling the most difficult circumstances for which he was praised by politicians, strategic affairs experts, ex-servicemen, celebrities and people in general. Pakistan released him on the night of March 1. The IAF has already recommended conferring Vir Chakra, the coveted wartime gallantry medal, to Varthaman. Vir Chakra is the third highest after the Paramvir Chakra and the Mahavir Chakra.
The IAF pilot underwent a nearly two-week-long debriefing by security agencies following his return from Pakistan. IAF fighter jets bombed a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Balakot in retaliation of a terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama on February 14 in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed. Pakistan retaliated on February 27 by attempting to target Indian military installations.