Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman likely to get Vir Chakra

Pilots involved in the Balakot air strike are also likely to be decorated with Vayu Sena medals.

Published: 08th August 2019 10:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th August 2019 11:18 AM   |  A+A-

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman (File | PTI)

By IANS

NEW DELHI: Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who had shot down a Pakistani F-16 near the Line of Control (LoC) in February resulting in his capture and subsequent release by Islamabad, is likely to be decorated with the Vir Chakra, India's top military honour, defence sources said on Thursday.

Along with Abhinandan, pilots of the five Mirage-2000 fighter jets, who had dropped bombs on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror launch-pad in Balakot area in Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunhkwa province, are also likely to be decorated with Vayu Sena medals.

"The final list of gallantry awardees will get the nod from President Ram Nath Kovind on August 14. Only after the list has been formally approved by the President can we disclose the names of awardees to the general public," a senior Indian Air Force official told IANS.

ALSO READ| Wing Commander Abhinandan in Indian Air Force's new mobile gaming app

Abhinandan had strayed into Pakistan territory after shooting down the F-16 during a dogfight that had taken place on February 27. His own aircraft, a MiG-21 Bison, had been hit by a missile forcing him to eject from the fighter jet before it crashlanded in Pakistan. Pakistani security forces had captured Abhinandan, but released him to India around 60 hours later at the Wagah border.

The bombing of the JeM terror facility in Balakot was carried out by India in retaliation of a terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama on February 14 in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed. The Vir Chakra is the third highest wartime military award in India.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp