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IAF promotes Balakot air strike operations hero Abhinandan Varthaman to Group Captain rank

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Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, Nov 3: The Indian Air Force has approved the rank of Group Captain for Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. He had involved in a dog fight with an enemy jet during an aerial combat with Pakistan in February 2019.

Abhinandan Varthaman

As per the officials, the rank has been approved and he will get it once a laid down procedure is completed. Group equivalent to a Colonel in the Indian Army.

On February 27, 2019, Varthaman downed a Pakistani jet when the neighbouring country launched retaliation against India for the Balakot airstrikes a day before.

Indian warplanes had attacked a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Balakot following which Pakistani Air Force retaliated, triggering fears of a war between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

The most visible face of the confrontation was Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman whose capture by Pakistan after downing his MiG-21 fighter. Before his jet was hit, he downed the F-16 fighter of Pakistan.

Varthaman was released on the night of March 1 by Pakistan following pressure from India and the international community. He had suffered injuries while ejecting from his MiG-21 Bison during the aerial combat. Later that year, he was conferred with the Vir Chakra, India's third-highest war time gallantry medal. PTI

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