Wing Commander Abhinandan's debriefing complete, he will now go on sick leave: IAF sources

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman crosses the Wagah border into India on March 1. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 14, 2019, 05.13 PM (IST)

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varathaman's debriefing is now complete, Indian Air Force sources said on Thursday. 

The news agency ANI quoted the sources as saying Abhinandan will now go on sick leave for a few weeks on the advice of doctors at the army's Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi. 

Abhinandan's MiG-21 Bison had been shot down over Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on February 27, a day after the IAF's air strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Balakot in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunwa province. 

In retaliation, Pakistan had on February 27 dropped bombs on Indian territory from its side of the Line of Control. Indian authorities said the bombs had been aimed at military installations but that they had missed their targets. 

Indian jets had been scrambled to give chase to the Pakistanis. 

Wing Commander Abhinandan's MiG-21 had been one of them. 

Abhinandan shot down a Pakistani F-16, before being shot down himself. 

Abhinandan was captured in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and spent two nights in Pakistani custody before being released. 

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said Abhinandan was being released as a "peace gesture". (Abhinandan's release very quickly de-escalated tensions between the two countries.) 

After his release, Abhinandan was kept at the Air Force Central Medical Establishment in Delhi where he underwent a series of medical tests as part of a "cooling down" process. 

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On Thursday, the IAF sources said a medical review board will assess Abhinandan in the near future and decide when he can resume his flying duties.