Sudarsan Pattnaik, the world’s popular sand artist, salutes the hero of the country, IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman and has created a beautiful sand art for him.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who shot down a Pakistan F-16 fighter jet across the Line of Control before he was captured on Thursday, will be released tomorrow as a “gesture of peace”, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced today.
On Wednesday, the 34-year-old Wing Commander piloted a MiG-21 Bison aircraft along with seven other Indian jets to intercept a pack of 24 Pakistani aircraft that were targeting Indian military installations.
Abhinandan Varthaman was in hot pursuit of a Pakistani F-16 jet, which he shot down with an R-73 air-to-air missile, across the Line of Control. During the aerial combat, his aircraft too was hit by an AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) missile that was fired by another F-16, and the Wing Commander was forced to eject and landed into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, where he was captured.
The Indian Air Force pilot comes from a family that has an excellent track record of serving the Air Force for generations. Abhinandan’s father S Varthaman, who was an Air Marshall, had served in the 1999 Kargil War with Pakistan. Abhinandan’s grandfather, Simhakutty, had served the nation during World War II in the Air Force.
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