Abhinandan was captured by Pakistani authorities on February 27 after his MiG 21 Bison went down during aerial engagement with Pakistani jets.
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.
. @DefenceMinIndia meets the #AirWarrior #AbhinandanVarthaman at his hospital room in Delhi to convey the sentiment of the Nation. Appreciates his impeccable combat skills as well as calmness in adversity. Interacts with the family and the hospital staff too. pic.twitter.com/PrAf3X7rEj
— Defence Spokesperson (@SpokespersonMoD) March 2, 2019
“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.
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.