'Wing Commander Abhinandan's debriefing ends, to go on sick leave'

A medical review board will assess the medical fitness of the Wing Commander and decide when he can resume his operations as a fighter pilot.

Published: 14th March 2019 05:32 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th March 2019 05:32 PM   |  A+A-

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman (File | PTI)

By Online Desk

NEW DELHI: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has completed the debriefing of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, defence sources said.

A medical review board will assess the medical fitness of the Wing Commander and decide when he can resume his operations as a fighter pilot, the sources added.

The sources further added that Wing Commander Varthaman will now go on sick leave for a few weeks on the advice of doctors of Army’s Research and Referral Hospital.

Varthaman was chasing Pakistani jets on a MiG -21 Bison fighter plane in Jammu and Kashmir on February 27 and crossed over to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) where his aircraft was shot down during the fierce dogfight.

He ejected safely and was taken into custody by the Pakistan Army when his parachute drifted and fell inside the PoK. He was released on March 1 after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on February 28 announced to release him as “a peace gesture”.

Earlier, sources said that Varthaman had informed the top IAF brass that he was subjected to a lot of mental harassment in Pakistan, though he was not physically tortured there.

On March 4, IAF Chief Air Marshal BS Dhanoa clarified that Varthaman will fly an aircraft again after he is declared fit.

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