New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, the Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot has again started flying MiG 21 jet almost six months after he was captured by Pakistan.
"He has started flying," said a top military official.

IAF's Bengaluru-based Institute of Aerospace Medicine gave the go-ahead to Varthaman to fly again following a thorough medical evaluation around three weeks back.

The 36-year-old was captured by the Pakistani Army on February 27 after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down during aerial combat between India and Pakistan. He had sustained injuries while ejecting from his MiG 21 Bison during the aerial combat and was taken off flying duties because of it. Before his jet was hit, he downed an F-16 fighter of Pakistan.

Varthaman was released on the night of March 1 by Pakistan.

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Days after he returned from Pakistan, Varthaman conveyed to IAF brass his wish to return to fighter cockpit at the earliest.

Varthaman was conferred Vir Chakra, the coveted wartime gallantry medal, for downing the F-16 jet of Pakistan during the aerial combat.

At present, Varthaman is serving at an IAF base in Rajasthan.

After he was captured, Varthaman showed courage and grace in handling the most difficult circumstances for which he was praised by politicians, strategic affairs experts, ex-servicemen, celebrities and people in general.

The IAF pilot underwent a nearly two-week-long debriefing by security agencies following his return from Pakistan.

IAF fighter jets bombed a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26, nearly two weeks after the Pulwama strike.

Pakistan retaliated on February 27 by attempting to target Indian military installations.

(with PTI inputs)

Posted By: James Kuanal