Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman meets IAF pilot Abhinandan in hospital; see photos

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Updated: March 2, 2019 6:34:47 PM

Abhinandan was captured by Pakistani authorities on February 27 after his MiG 21 Bison went down during aerial engagement with Pakistani jets.

Nirmala Sitharaman met Wing Commander Abhinandan at military hospital in Delhi. (Image: Ministry of Defence)

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman at a military hospital in New Delhi on Saturday. Abhinandan, who was brought to Delhi after Pakistan released him through the Attari-Wagah border late Friday night, is currently undergoing a series of medical tests as part of a ‘cooling down’ process, officials said.


“Proud of you Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. The entire nation appreciates your valour and grit. You held your calm in the face of adversity. You are an inspiration to our youth. Salute. Vande Mataram,” Sitharaman has tweeted moments after the IAF pilot crossed over to the Indian side after spending neary 60 hours in Pakistan.

Also Read: The story of Varthamans and their love for IAF MiG-21s

He was captured by Pakistani authorities on February 27 after his MiG 21 Bison went down during aerial engagement with Pakistani jets. Varthaman shot down an F-16 of Pakistan air force before ejecting from his aircraft.

Tension between India and Pakistan had escalated after IAF jets pounded terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s biggest training camp near Balakot deep inside Pakistan in a pre-dawn strike on February 26. The action came nearly couple of weeks after 40 CRPF men were killed in a suicide attack carried out by a Jaish terrorist in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama.

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