Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was taken captive by Pakistan for two days during the post-Balakot India-Pakistan standoff, has decided to go back to his squadron based in Srinagar, even as he’s currently on a four-week sick leave, reports Hindustan Times.
The IAF pilot has preferred being back with his squadron over using his sick leave to go visit his family in Chennai. The leave period for Varthaman has been running for 12 days now, beginning after a two-week debriefing following his release from captivity.
Once the four-week leave period ends, Varthaman’s fitness will be reviewed by a medical board. On the basis of that review, it will be decided whether to allow him to return to flying fighter planes or not.
He was taken into the custody of the Pakistani Army after his Mig-21 Bison fighter was shot down and crashed into PoK following a dogfight with Pakistani fighters who had crossed the LoC. In the air battle, Varthaman also successfully shot down an F-16.
Near the site of the crash, he was violently attacked by locals before being handed over to soldiers of the Pakistani Army. Even-faced in the situation, he was praised across India for acting in a dignified and courageous manner despite the adverse circumstances.
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