New Delhi: The Indian Air Force has transferred Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman out of Srinagar for security reasons. Even as he was undergoing a medical test in Srinagar, he received a threat from Jaish-e-Mohammed.
The terrorists trying to execute their plans would have necessitated an extra deployment of forces to ensure the militants fail in their mission, as a result of which this action was taken, say sources.
The wing commander of the IAF has been sent to a ‘peace station’ for the moment. According to sources in the Air Force, the order to this effect has been issued.
Abhinandan will now be deployed somewhere outside Srinagar, probably in the Western sector.
Debriefing of the wing commander
It is only after the medical test that Abhinandan will be permitted to fly a fighter plane again. The wing commander’s MiG-21 Bison had, on 27 February, fallen on the Pakistani side of the LoC when the IAF thwarted a bid of the Pakistan Air Force to hit Indian military installations in retaliation of India’s Balakot airstrikes on JeM’s terrorist-training camp.
But before ejecting and landing in Pakistan, the wing commander shot down a Pakistani F-16 aircraft. Under Indian and global pressure, Pakistan released Abhinandan in the night of 1 March. Since then, he has been a prime target of Jaish.
During the leave period, instead of going to his home town Chennai, Abhinandan decided to stay with his squadron in Srinagar. The wing commander was on leave when the security agencies completed their two-week long exercise of debriefing him after he returned from Pakistan. This is a standard operating procedure after the return of a PoW who is still in service.
Some recent reports suggested wrongly that Abhinandan was ready to fly a fighter jet once again. He needs to actually get permission from the Institute of Aerospace Medicine, IAF.
After returning from Pakistan, Abhinandan has been through a series of systematic medical and psychological checkups. He will be asked to go on medical leave hereafter to recover completely, and then return healthy to fly again.
Recommended for award
The IAF has recommended Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s name for the wartime gallantry award Vir Chakra.
— Indian Defense™ (@IndianDefense1) April 20, 2019