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IAF pilot captured by Pakistan is son of a decorated officer


New Delhi, Feb 28: The son of a decorated officer of the Indian Air Force was captured by Pakistan. A day after the IAF hit a Jaish-e-Mohammad terror facility, Pakistan claimed that it had shot down an Indian plane and also captured Wing Commander, Abhinandan Varthaman.

Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman

Varthaman's aircraft, the MiG-21 was shot down by Pakistan on Wednesday morning, following which he was captured by the Pakistan armed forces. Pakistan then released a video in which he was blindfolded and is heard saying his name and service number. He did not divulge any further information.

After Indian objected to Pakistan's vulgar display and said that it expected the pilot to be released immediately, another video showing the pilot sipping tea was released. He says that he was being treated well and also added that the Pakistan armed forces are 'thorough gentlemen.'

All channels opened up at highest levels to secure release of IAF pilot from Pak custody

This is what I would expect my army to behave and I am thoroughly impressed. When he was asked about where he hailed from and what his squadron was, he refused to divulge any details. He only said that he was from down south.

An alumnus of the Khadwasla based National Defence Academy, he was an accomplished Sukhoi-30 fighter pilot. He was then assigned to the MiG-21 Bison squadron.

Varthaman is the son of distinguished fighter pilot, Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman and played a key role in the 1999 Kargil War. As a Group Captain, he was the chief operations officer at the Gwalior airbase. He retired as the Air Officer Commanding in Chief of the Shillong based Eastern Air Command. In 2017, the government constituted a committee under the Air Marshal to assess the viability of building stealth fighters jointly with Russia.

"As an Air warrior, Wg Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman served the nation by defending it with total disregard to his personal safety. As a nation we pray for his continuous well being and early return," Union Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore tweeted.

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