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Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman to be conferred Vir Chakra on Independence Day

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. Photograph:( PTI )

WION Web Team Delhi Aug 14, 2019, 12.20 PM (IST)

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be conferred with Vir Chakra on Independence Day for striking down F-16 in an aerial conflict with Pakistan a day after Balakot airstrike in February 2019.

The Vir Chakra is the third highest gallantry award in the military after the Param Vir Chakra and the Mahavir Chakra.

Meanwhile, Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal will be conferred with Yudh Seva Medal for her role as a fighter controller during the aerial conflict between the two countries, reported news agency ANI. 

Air Commodore Sunil Kashinath Vidhate, Gp Capts Yashpal Singh Negi, Hansel Joseph Sequeira and Hemant Kumar will be awarded the Yudh Sewa Medal for the planning and execution of the Balakot airstrike on the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist camp in Balakot.

Abhinandan Varthaman's name was recommended by the IAF for the gallantry awards which are conferred upon on Independence Day by the President of India.

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)