Abhinandan is the son of retired Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman, who last served as Eastern Air Command chief.
Mumbai: Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman of the Indian Air Force (IAF) is in Pakistan’s custody following the crash of an Indian MiG-21 on Pakistan soil on February 27.
He ejected safely from his aircraft, but landed across the Line of Control.
Know more about Abhinandan:
- Abhinandan was commissioned as a fighter pilot on June 19, 2004.
- The 38-year-old has been a fighter pilot for 16 years and is the son of a decorated and senior officer of the Air Force.
- Wing Commander Varthaman is an alumnus of the Khadakwasla-based National Defence Academy. He was an accomplished Sukhoi-30 fighter pilot before being assigned to the MiG-21 Bison squadron.
- Abhinandan is married and has two children, hails from Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvannamalai district but completed his education in Delhi because his father was posted in the Capital.
- Abhinandan is the son of retired Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman, who currently lives in one of the southern states of India and last served as Eastern Air Command chief.
- His father has been honoured with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM), a military award for “most exceptional order” in peace-time service.
- “Thank you, my friends, for your concern and wishes. I thank God for his blessings, Abhi is alive, not injured, sound in mind, just look at the way he talked so bravely...a true soldier...we are so proud of him. I am sure all your hands n blessings are on his head, prayers for his safe return, I pray that he does not get tortured, and comes home safe n sound in body and mind. Thank you all for being with us in this hour of need. We draw our strengths from your support and energy,” message by Veteran Air Marshal Varthaman, the Wing Commander’s father said.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had summoned the acting high commissioner of Pakistan Syed Haider Shah and demanded the immediate and safe return of the pilot.
Read: No deal, says India on pilot return; Pak reports release only after de-escalation