Abhinandan Varthaman will be taken for a detailed medical check-up. The officer had had to eject from a plane which would have put his body under immense strain, said Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor.
New Delhi: After staying captive in Pakistan for nearly 60 hours, Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Abhinandan Varthaman finally returned to India on Friday night. However, Wing Commander Varthaman will have to wait for four to six months to return to the cockpit before he is declared completely fit for flying again.
Varthaman is now in Delhi where he will be debriefed. “He will be taken for a detailed medical check-up. The officer has had to eject from a plane which would have put his body under immense strain,” said Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor, reading out a short statement and refusing to take questions.
As per the laid down defence procedures, it is important for the forces to debrief an officer who has come back from a stressful, militarily hostile ambience. Doctors and psychologists will attend the debriefing session of Abhinandan.
Sources confirm that top officers of the defence establishment will start the debriefing of Abhinandan with his physical check-up, which will include multiple tests. His further professional assignment will be based on the assessments given by the officers. It is expected that Varthaman can be back to flying jets in next four to six months.
Abhinandan was captured by Pakistani army on February 27 after he crash-landed in PoK area after he shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet from his MiG-21 Bison plane. After much delay and Pakistan Rangers released Abhinandan after 9 PM. He was wearing civilian clothes — a dark jacket and khaki trousers when he entered the country.
Before his release, Pakistan shamefully circulated a heavily edited video statement of Abhinandan, which was aired also on Pakistan TV where he can be seen explaining the sequence of incident. The 84-seconds video clearly bears 20 clear edits.
Slamming Pakistan, Omar Abdullah on Twitter wrote, “Sadly the image you paint for us is marred terribly by the video he’s forced to record just before you sent him back. That high moral ground you had bequeathed to yourselves slipped at the end.”
Sadly the image you paint for us is marred terribly by the video he’s forced to record just before you sent him back. That high moral ground you had bequeathed to yourselves slipped at the end. https://t.co/tYsI2IXCql— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) March 1, 2019
Abhinandan received a rousing welcome by the entire country.
Welcome home Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman! India is proud of your courage and sense of duty, and above all your dignity. Wishing you and our entire Air Force every success in the future #PresidentKovind— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) March 1, 2019
Welcome Home Wing Commander Abhinandan!— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 1, 2019
The nation is proud of your exemplary courage.
Our armed forces are an inspiration for 130 crore Indians.
Proud of you Wing Commander #AbhinandanVarthaman. 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.— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) March 1, 2019
Last Updated 12:32 PM IST