BENGALURU: Staff members at Kendriya Vidyalaya DRDO and Kendriya Vidyalaya NAL in Bengaluru are euphoric. One of their alumni, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was held captive by Pakistan Army on Wednesday after his Mig 21-Bison was shot down by Pakistan’s air defence units near the Line of Control, is to be released on Friday. Abhinandan had downed a Pakistan F-16 before his plane was hit.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan made the announcement on Thursday as a step to de-escalate the tension between the two countries. On Thursday, the authorities at both the schools held prayers for the safe release of Abhinandan. Within a few hours came the news that he would be home on Friday.
Manoharan N, principal of Kendriya Vidyalaya NAL, says, “We have decided to hold a meeting to celebrate his release and we will also explain to our students about him.”
The schools have displayed photographs of Wg Cdr Abhinandan on their campuses and written briefly about him and the Indian Air Force.R U Patil, who was principal of KV NAL campus in Bengaluru, where Varthaman did his class XI and XII, recalled him fondly as an “all-rounder”. “It’s a moment of pride for me that defence personnel, who has emerged as a true national hero was in my school.
Abhinandan had studied in Bengaluru for five years. As his father was also a Wing Commander then and posted in Bengaluru for a while, Abhinandan did his Classes 8, 9 and 10 at Kendriya Vidyalaya DRDO and Classes 11 and 12 at Kendriya Vidyalaya NAL. He completed his Class 10 board exams in 1998.