Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman to be awarded Vir Chakra
IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman likely to be conferred Vir Chakra on Independence Day
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman of the Indian Air Force will be conferred Vir Chakra on Independence Day. Vir Chakra is India’s third-highest wartime gallantry medal. Abhinandan became the face of military confrontation between India and Pakistan this year. He was part of an aerial engagement with Pakistan a day after the Balakot airstrike and had downed an F-16 fighter jet of the Pakistan Air Force.
Abhinandan Varthaman had fired an R-73 missile to take out the Pakistan F-16 aircraft before his Mig 21 Bison was hit by an AMRAAM missile. He was later caught as his MIG-21 crashed in the neighbouring country.
The Wing commander became a well-known face when his pictures of him captured, blindfolded and handcuffed by the Pakistani military surfaced. A day later Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced that they will release him. Thus defusing the war-like situation. Abhinandan was later handed over to Indian authorities at the Attari-Wagah border on March 1.
Abhinandan Varthaman was taken off flying duties due to injuries sustained in Pakistan after ejecting from his MiG-21 Bison fighter jet. He was posted with the Mig-21 squadron in Srinagar before the incident. After going through the medical process after his return, he was posted back to the fighter unit.
Not only Abhinandam but many other AirForce personnel and pilots involved in the Balakot airstrike will be honoured and awarded for their gallantry on Independence day.
As reported by ANI, Indian Air Force’s Wg Cdr Amit Ranjan, Sqn Ldrs Rahul Basoya, Pankaj Bhujade, BKN Reddy, Shashank Singh awarded Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) for bombing Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist camp in Pakistan’s Balakot town. All officers are Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft pilots. Indian Air Force’s Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal will be conferred with Yudh Seva Medal for her role as a fighter controller during the February 27 aerial conflict.