IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman To Be Awarded First Bhagwan Mahavir Ahimsa Puraskar

(@ANI/Twitter) 

Abhinandan Varthaman, the Indian Air Force Wing Commander, will be the first recipient of the ‘Bhagwan Mahavir Ahimsa Puraskar’ instituted by the Akhil Bharatiya Digambar Jain Mahasamiti.

Piloting a Mig-21 Bison, Varthaman shot down a Pakistan Air Force F-16 with an R-73 air-to-air missile in a dogfight on 27 February, but his aircraft took a hit, and he had to eject and was eventually captured by Pakistan forces soon after as reported by Indian Express.

Varthaman was released on 1 March as a ‘peace’ gesture by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited the wing commander at RR Hospital, where he is currently admitted.

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The award which was instituted this year carries a cash prize of Rs 2.51 lakh, a memento and a citation, all of which will be presented to Varthaman on 17 April which coincides with Mahavir Jayanti.

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