Captured Wing Commander Abhinandan Returns home; BCCI Welcomes the Hero
GUWAHATI: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and sports fraternity took to Twitter to welcome Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who stepped on the Indian soil from Attari-Wagah border.
Minutes after Wing Commander Abhinandan crossed the border, BCCI posted a special message for him on their official Twitter handle with the name of the IAF pilot engraved on Team India jersey.
India welcomed Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, the Indian Air Force pilot in Pakistan’s captivity, at the Wagah border around 9:20 PM on Friday night, March 1.
A five-member team reached the Attari-Wagah border to receive Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
In what is being seen as a diplomatic victory for India, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had, on Thursday, announced that the captured IAF pilot will be freed as “peace gesture.”
It is being reported that Abhinandan Varthaman had shot down the Pakistani Air Force’s F-16 fighter jet by firing an R-73 air-to-air missile before his MiG-21 Bison was hit during a fierce aerial dogfight.
The incident which caught the attention of the world media for the past two days culminated with the Wing Commander’s return to his homeland after hours of wait.
Earlier on February 27, Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had confirmed that one MiG 21 of the Indian Air Force was lost and the pilot went missing in action. "Pakistan claims he is in their custody but we are ascertaining the facts," he said during a press briefing.
Reportedly, India had shot down a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) F-16 that had come close to the Line of Control (LoC) in Nowshera sector of Jammu & Kashmir. The aircraft fell three kilometres inside Pakistani-administered Kashmir.
As the PAF jets approached the LoC, the Indian Air Force immediately retaliated and fired. This forced the F-16s to return but not before one took the hit and went down.
Wing Commander Abhinandan landed on Pakistani soil after ejecting from his jet and was arrested by the Pakistani forces.
Pakistani army looked after me well: Abhinandan
The pilot, while being interrogated by Pakistani officials on Wednesday February 27, said on video that he was being looked after well by Pakistan after being taken into custody.
When asked if he was being treated well in Pakistan, he replied, “Yes I have, to put this on record, the officers of the Pakistani army have looked after me very well, they are thorough gentlemen. Starting from the captain who rescued me from the mob and from the soldiers and thereafter the officers in the unit in which I was taken to.”
Several videos were released on social media where the Wing Commander was seen unconscious and being beaten up a mob.
He added, “This is how I expect my army to behave as and I am very impressed by the Pakistani army.”
Abhinandan swallowed important documents before capture
Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman swallowed a quarter of his secret documents before he was captured by Pakistani civilians and handed over to the Pakistan army.
Official documents accessed by The Times of India revealed that Abhinandan was held by three Pakistani civilians namely Mohammad Razzaq Chaudhry, Shoaid and Razza in Horran Village, 7 kms from the Line of Control (LOC) in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
The Pakistan English daily, Dawn, had reported on Thursday that 58-year-old Mohammad Razzaq Chaudhry, a political activist, noticed around 8.45 am that there was a dogfight on in the sky. After an Indian aircraft sped across the LoC, Razzaq saw a parachute descending a kilometre from his house. He immediately called his friends Shoaib, Razza and others and asked them to reach the location.
According to the official documents, he swallowed some of his crucial documents and jumped into the nearby pond to escape the mob. He was pulled back and some of his documents were seized while one of the youths shot at his leg.
After he was mauled, six Pakistan Army soldiers arrived and took him into custody.
The business of showbiz: Producers fight to register patriotic movie titles post Pulwama attack
According to reports, hours before Wing Commander Abhinandan's release from Pakistan, Bollywood producers fought to register patriotic movie titles post the recent tension on the LOC.
Producers fought to register titles like ‘Balakot’, ‘Surgical Strikes 2.0’, ‘Pulwama Attacks’ and 'Abhinandan.'
February 26, the day India launched air strikes on Pakistan, was an unusually busy day at the cramped offices of the Indian Motion Pictures’ Producers’ Association (IMMPA) in Andheri, Mumbai as representatives of at least five different production companies rushed to reserve jingoistic movie titles for films that they hoped to make in the future.
It is to be mentioned that the success of ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’ has prompted a surge of titles focused on the India-Pakistan conflict, a review of titles registered in February reveals.
To register a title, all a production house needs to do is fill a simple form, with 4-5 alternative titles in order of preference, and pay a sum of Rs 250 along with 18 per cent GST.