Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman of the Indian Air Force who was detained by Pakistan following the surgical strike by Indian in the neighbouring country in February this year, is announced to be conferred with the prestigious Vir Chakra on Independence Day. Abhinandan had become a popular and much-talked name due to his bravery and indomitable spirit despite being detained by the Pakistan Army.
It was in an IAF operation on the Pakistan Air Force, Abhinandan had shot down an F-16 fighter jet of Pakistan. However, since his return to India from Pakistan, Abhinandan had been in rest due to the injuries he has sustained in a fight with Pakistan. But now as he has cleared all medical tests, he is expected to resume his flying duties soon.
Notably, the Wing Commander had fought with Pakistan on February 27, 2019 which was just the following day of the Balakot air strike. During his attack on the Pakistan Air Force fighter jet, he was caught by Pakistan as his Mig-21 crashed on the grounds of Pakistan. It was only on March 1 when the Wing Commander was freed and was handed over to India at the Wagah-Attari border. Abhinandan, on being detained in Pakistan and the situation triggering a war-like condition between the two countries compelled Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to announce it the following day that Pakistan will release him.
However, once the braveheart came home back, he turned into a hero for the Indians. right from following his beard style to new parents using his name for the new-born boys, Abhinandamn was in news for all the good reasons.
Vir Chakra, being the third-highest war time gallantry medal, is a lifetime honour and Abhinandan is blessed to be honoured with the award. apart from the Vir Chakra, several other gallantry awards are to be announced for the pilots and personnel who were involved in the Balakot air strike and the Defence Ministry is yet to make an announcement of the list.