India welcomes brave IAF Pilot Abhinandan amid loud cheers, waving flags
The day slipped into sunset and then night but the wait for Wing Commander Varthaman continued as he was said to return India at around 3.00pm. Long after nightfall, as the skies opened up and drenched Amritsar, there was no sign of the Indian Air Force pilot but hundreds of people glued to the spot to have a look their hero.
Amritsar: India’s warrior Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman returns back to India and has been received by Air Vice Marshal Ravi Kapoor and the senior officers of the Indian Air Force (IAF) at the Attari Wagha Border, located in the Wagha zone of Lahore, Punjab and Pakistan.
The day slipped into sunset and then night but the wait for Wing Commander Varthaman continued as he was said to return India at around 3.00pm. Long after nightfall, as the skies opened up and drenched Amritsar, there was no sign of the Indian Air Force pilot but hundreds of people glued to the spot to have a look of their hero.
His return comes after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday announced that Abhinandan will be sent back to India as a sign of 'peace gesture' by Pakistan. His statement, however, was denied by India saying that the order of wing commander's release was in the line of Geneva Convention.
"He will now undergo a medical check up as he fell from an aircraft and his body would be in a bad state. IAF is happy to have Abhinandan back," said Air Vice Marshal RGV Kapoor.
Here is the IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman release Latest Updates
- Military convoy with Abhinandan leaves for Amritsar Airport.
- Special plane will take Abhinandan to New Delhi's palam Airport from where he will be taken for medical check up.
- Thousands of people gathered at the Wagah-Attari border and are ready to celebrate the return of their hero Wing Commander.
- Beating Retreat at the Wagah-Attari border has been cancelled by India.
- IAF team reaches Attari
- Abhinandan to be taken for medical test after his return
Abhinandan’s bravery and valiant was celebrated by co-passengers of his parents, Air Marshal S. Varthaman (Retired) and mother Shobha Varthaman (doctor), who boarded a flight from Chennai to New Delhi on Thursday evening.
They will be in Attari today to welcome their son back home.
The 35-year-old IAF pilot was captured by Pakistan in an air combat, on Wednesday, after his MiG-21 Bison fighter jet was hit by Pakistan Air Force jets near the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.
The wing commander is likely to be brought by Pakistani authorities from Rawalpindi to Lahore and then will be handed over first to the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) under rules of the Geneva Convention before being brought to the JCP, according to a source.
The Border Security Force (BSF), which mans the JCP and the 553-km long International Border with Pakistan in Punjab is on high alert.
Varthaman will be debriefed by defence and security officials after his return before he is taken to New Delhi from the Amritsar airport.