The MRI scan of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was handed over to India after being captured by Pakistan, did not find any bugs. However, the scan has shown that there is an injury in his lower spine which could have happened due to his ejection from his MiG-21 after an aerial engagement with a Pakistani F-16 on February 27, news agency ANI quoted sources as saying. Significantly, a rib of Abhinandan Varthaman was also injured due to assault by Pakistani locals soon after he landed on ground in PoK after his MiG-21 Bison was shot down. He will undergo more check ups and treatment at the Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi Cantonment.
On Saturday, reports suggest Varthaman has told officials that although he was not physically tortured by Pakistan officials, he went through a lot of mental harassment in their custody. Varthaman, who was brought to Delhi after Pakistan released him through the Attari-Wagah border on Friday night, underwent a series of medical tests as part of a "cooling down" process, officials said. Early Saturday morning, Varthaman met his immediate family members as well as several top officials of the Indian Air Force, they said.
Varthaman arrived in the national capital around 11:45 PM Friday and soon after he was taken to the Air Force Central Medical Establishment (AFCME), a compact and specialised medical evaluation centre for aircrew of all the three services.
He was captured by Pakistani authorities on February 27 after his MiG 21 Bison went down during a dogfight with Pakistani jets. But before his plane was hit, Varthaman shot down an F-16 of Pakistan air force.
Wing Commander Varthaman is undergoing a series of medical tests as part of the "cooling down" process and it is expected to continue till Sunday. Once, the health check-up phase is over, debriefing sessions will be arranged for him, the officials said.
The handing over of pilot Abhinandan Varthaman to India at Wagah was delayed on Friday as he was asked to record a statement on camera by Pakistani authorities before he was allowed to cross the border, according to sources. It was not clear whether he was made to record the video under duress. The video also had several jump cuts indicating that it had been edited heavily, apparently to fit Pakistani propaganda.
At 8.30 pm (local) time, the Pakistan government released the pilot's video message to the local media in which he said as to how he was captured. "Recording of his video message caused a delay in his handing over," a source said.
In the video message, Varthaman said he entered Pakistan's space to "find a target" but his aircraft was shot down. "I was in search of the target when your (Pakistan) Air Force shot me down. I had to eject the plane which had sustained damage. As soon as I ejected and when my parachute opened and I fell down, I had a pistol with me."