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Abhinandan Varthaman's Rib Injured After Being Assaulted by a Mob in Pakistan: Report

Though the doctors did not find bugs, the scan showed an injury in the lower spine of IAF pilot, which could have happened while ejecting from MiG-21 after an aerial combat with neighbouring country's F-16.


Updated:March 4, 2019, 8:13 AM IST
Abhinandan Varthaman's Rib Injured After Being Assaulted by a Mob in Pakistan: Report
IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman as he is released by Pakistan authorities at Wagah border on Friday, March 1, 2019. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: The doctors at a military hospital here have found that a rib of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was injured due to "assault by Pakistani residents" after landing in PoK, news agency ANI quoted a source as saying.

The news agency further quoted the source as saying that though they did not find bugs, the MRI scan showed an injury in the lower spine of IAF pilot, "which could have happened while ejecting from his MiG-21 after an aerial combat with neighbouring country's F-16".

"He will undergo more check ups and treatment at Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi Cantonment," a government source was quoted as saying by ANI.

Varthaman underwent several medical tests as part of a cooling down process. A debriefing was also carried out by security agencies and will continue for the next couple of days. "The efforts have been to ensure that he returns to the cockpit soon," a military official said.

The IAF pilot was captured by the Pakistani Army on Wednesday after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistani jets during an aerial combat. He downed an F-16 fighter of Pakistan before his plane was hit.

Varthaman arrived in the national capital by an IAF flight at around 11:45 pm Friday, nearly two-and-half hours after he crossed over to India through the Attari-Wagah border.

The IAF pilot was first taken to the Air Force Central Medical Establishment (AFCME), a compact and specialised medical evaluation centre for aircrew of all the three services. Later he was brought to the Army's Research and Referral hospital.

After he was captured, Varthaman showed courage and grace in handling the most difficult circumstances for which he was praised by politicians, strategic affairs experts, ex-servicemen, celebrities and people in general.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa met Varthaman separately on Saturday during which he apprised them about the mental trauma he was subjected to during his captivity in Pakistan.

During the meeting, the defence minister commended him on his valour and expressed the nation's gratitude for his selfless service. The officials said Varthaman has been in high spirits despite the harassment he suffered in Pakistan.

Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after Indian fighters bombed terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest training camp near Balakot, deep inside Pakistan early on Tuesday.

Pakistan retaliated by attempting to target Indian military installations on Wednesday. However, the IAF thwarted their plans. The Indian strike on the JeM camp came 12 days after the terror outfit claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Kashmir, killing 40 soldiers.

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| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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