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Wing Commander Abhinandan's spine, rib found injured after return from Pakistan: Report

Varthaman was captured by the Pakistani Army on Wednesday after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistani jets during an aerial combat. He downed an F-16 fighter of Pakistan before his plane was hit.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: March 03, 2019 19:02 IST
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Abhinandan Varthaman

Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is believed to have suffered injuries on his lower spine and rib after his return from Pakistan, ANI quoted sources as saying. The injuries were noticed in a MRI scan, which was conducted on the IAF pilot. 

Varthaman was captured by the Pakistani Army on Wednesday after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistani jets during an aerial combat. He downed an F-16 fighter of Pakistan before his plane was hit.

The MRI scan showed an injury in his lower spine which could have happened following his ejection from the MiG-21 fighter plane, ANI said in its report. The report said that the IAF pilot also has a rib injury due to an assault by the Pakistani locals soon after he landed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. 

According to sources, Varthaman will undergo more check-ups and treatment at the Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi Cantonment for the next 10 days. 

A number of senior Indian Air Force (IAF) officials met Varthaman who was brought to Delhi after he returned to India from Pakistan through the Attari-Wagah border late Friday night.

Varthaman arrived in the national capital by an IAF flight at around 11:45 pm Friday, nearly two-and-half hours after he crossed over to India through the Attari-Wagah border. The IAF pilot was first taken to the Air Force Central Medical Establishment (AFCME), a compact and specialised medical evaluation centre for aircrew of all the three services. Later he was brought to the Army's Research and Referral hospital. 

After he was captured, Varthaman showed courage and grace in handling the most difficult circumstances for which he was praised by politicians, strategic affairs experts, ex-servicemen, celebrities and people in general.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa met Varthaman separately on Saturday during which he apprised them about the mental trauma he was subjected to during his captivity in Pakistan. During the meeting, the defence minister commended him on his valour and expressed the nation's gratitude for his selfless service. The officials said Varthaman has been in high spirits despite the harassment he suffered in Pakistan.

Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after Indian fighters bombed terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest training camp near Balakot, deep inside Pakistan early Tuesday. Pakistan retaliated by attempting to target Indian military installations on Wednesday. However, the IAF thwarted their plans. The Indian strike on the JeM camp came 12 days after the terror outfit claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Kashmir, killing 40 soldiers.

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