A video clip showing Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman in fine physical shape and getting photographs clicked with IAF personnel started doing the rounds on the internet today.
This is the first video of the MIG-21 pilot to appear after his re-joining active duty. Wing Commander Abhinandan’s aircraft had been shot down in a duel with a Pakistan Air Force F-16 on Feb 27 and the IAF has credited him with shooting down a Pakistani F-16 before going down himself.
In the video, Abhinandan can be seen smiling and posing for selfies with IAF personnel, Garud special forces jawans and Defence Security Corps personnel (DSC). He is also heard saying that all photographs being taken of him are for the families of the jawans who prayed for his well being.
The jawans also raise cries of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ ‘DSC Ki Jai’ in the short video clip before Abhinandan walks away. He is seen wearing flying overalls with the patch of his Squadron affixed on it.
According to reports, the IAF has also recommended his name for the award of the country’s third highest wartime gallantry award, Vir Chakra, for shooting down the F-16. Pakistan has, however, denied that any aircraft of its air force has been shot down even though IAF has presented technical evidence in support of its claim.