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Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman starts flying MiG-21: Report

File photo: Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team Delhi Aug 22, 2019, 12.51 PM (IST)

Indian Air Force's (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was recently awarded Vir Chakra for downing F-16 during an aerial conflict with Pakistan a day after Balakot airstrike, has started flying MiG-21 again.

According to reports, Abhinandan is serving at an IAF base in Rajasthan.

He was taken off the flying duties after he suffered injuries while ejecting from his MiG-21 Bison during the aerial combat.

He was given the go-ahead to fly again after thorough medical examinations. 

He was conferred the Vir Chakra on India's Independence Day on August 15. The Vir Chakra is the third highest gallantry award in the military after the Param Vir Chakra and the Mahavir Chakra.

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured on February 27 by Pakistan following an aerial conflict between the two air forces. He was handed over to Indian officials by Pakistan on March 1.

The Balakot airstrike was carried out by India in response to the terror attack by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama in which at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed on February 14.

Following the airstrike, Pakistan had violated the Indian airspace on February 27 when Abhinandan had strayed into Pakistani territory after shooting down F-16. He was released through the Attari-Wagah border after spending two days in Pakistan's custody.

(With inputs from agencies)

Story highlights

He was taken off the flying duties after he suffered injuries while ejecting from his MIG 21 Bison during the aerial combat with Pakistan in February.