IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman to go on medical leave before resuming duty

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New Delhi | Published: March 15, 2019 2:08:35 PM

IAF will constitute a medical board which will review his medical fitness. Based on the review report submitted by the medical board, authorities in IAF will decide whether to allow Abhinandan to fly fighter jets or not.

Abhinandan VarthamanIAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman

IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has successfully completed the debriefing before the Indian Air Force (IAF) and other security agencies. Along with this two-week long debriefing, medical treatment of the IAF pilot has also concluded. Now, Abhinandan would go on sick leave for at least three weeks. After that Abhinandan will be resuming duty, according to a PTI report. However, his return to fighter cockpit, which he dearly wants, depends on his medical fitness.

IAF will constitute a medical board which will review his medical fitness. Based on the review report submitted by the medical board, authorities in IAF will decide whether to allow Abhinandan to fly fighter jets or not.

Following the Balakot airstrike by IAF’s Mirage 2000 on February 26, Pakistan Air Force violated airspace through US-manufactured F-16 on February 27. However, Pakistan’s misadventure was thwarted by IAF. Abhinandan, who was flying MiG-21 Bison, managed to down an F-16 fighter jet. However, in this aerial combat, MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down and Abhinandan was captured. He spent 60 hours in Pakistan. After relentless pressure from India, Abhinandan was finally released on March 1 by Islamabad.

Following his release, the IAF pilot was first taken to the Air Force Central Medical Establishment in New Delhi. Air Force Central Medical Establishment is a compact and specialised medical evaluation centre for aircrew of all the three services. Later Abhinandan was admitted to the Research and Referral hospital of Indian Army.

On March 2, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa met Abhinandan separately. During the meeting, Abhinandan informed the Defence Minister and Dhanoa about the mental trauma that he had to endure during his captivity in Pakistan.

Wing Commander Abhinandan has become a national hero after a few videos surfaced in the social media showed his courage, psychological strength and excellent composure in front of Pakistan Army officials.

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