Abhinandan Varthaman (File Photo)
Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was taken off flying duties due to injuries post Balakot strike, will undergo medical fitness test and is gearing up to get back to his operations anytime soon. Varthaman, the daring IAF pilot, sustained injures after his MiG-21 shot down an F-16 jet of Pakistan in a fierce aerial combat in the subcontinental skies on February 27.
Speaking to the media, an IAF source close to the development said, "Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman to soon undergo medical fitness test for resuming his flying operations. The officer was taken off flying duties due to injuries sustained in Pakistan after ejecting from his MiG-21 during fight with Pakistan on February 27".
IAF Sources: Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman to soon undergo medical fitness test for resuming his flying operations. The officer was taken off flying duties due to injuries sustained in Pakistan after ejecting from his MiG-21 during fight with Pakistan on February 27. pic.twitter.com/bVMCBjmOAh— ANI (@ANI) August 8, 2019
A fleet of Pakistani fighter jets had unsuccessfully targeted various military installations in Jammu and Kashmir on February 27, a day after India carried out air strikes on a terrorist training camp deep inside Pakistan's Balakot.
The IAF foiled the Pakistani retaliation, and in the dogfight, Varthaman downed an F-16 fighter jet of the Pakistan Air Force, showing grit, determination and bravery. Soon after he brought down the F-16, Pakistani Army captured him as his MiG-21 Bison jet was hit. Varthaman was released on the night of March 1 by Pakistan.
Post abduction, Varthaman, however, showed courage and grace in handling the most difficult circumstances for which he has been praised by people from different walks of life including politicians, strategic affairs experts, ex-servicemen and celebrities among others.
Varthaman had become the face of the military confrontation between the two countries. Last month, he was shifted out of Srinagar and posted to a frontline air base in the western sector. The IAF is also recommending to confer him with wartime gallantry medal Vir Chakra for his breavery, courage and valour.
The Balakot airstrike was carried out in response to the "heinous and cowardly" Pulwama terror attack by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed on February 14 which left 40 CRPF personnel dead and dozens of others injured.