Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be conferred with the Vir Chakra on Independence Day. Vir Chakra is the third highest gallantry medal after Param Vir Chakra and Maha Chakra, during wartime.
Abhinandan was captured on the morning of February 27 after his MiG21 Bison aircraft was shot down by Pakistan. His parachute landed across the Line of Control (LoC) and he was in Islamabad’s custody for nearly 60 hours. Abhinandan returned on March 1 after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced he would be released him as a “gesture of peace”.
Tensions between Pakistan and India escalated after the IAF bombed terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s biggest training camp near Balakot inside Pakistan.
The Indian strike on the JeM camp came 12 days after the terror group claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy killing 40 CRPF jawans at Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir. The CRPF men were travelling in a bus, part of a convoy of over a thousand security personnel when an explosive-laden SUV rammed into the bus and exploded.