Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who was released by Pakistan on March 1.@OfficialDGISPR/Twitter

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman arrived in India on Friday night after two days in Pakistan's custody. Cheering crowds of Indians received him at the Wagah Border near Amritsar in Punjab, India. Bollywood stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Arjun Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and many more were not far behind in welcoming the hero.

The Indian Air Force pilot's plane - a MIG-21 Bison - was shot down in enemy territory after he chased down a Pakistani F-16 that had entered India. The attack by Pakistan was following the air strike on Balakot by India, after 42 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed in a suicide attack in Kashmir on February 14. The terror attack was claimed by Pakistan-sponsored outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), headed by Masood Azhar.

Abhinandan was held captive for two days by Pakistan. Calm and composed in the face of death, the pilot revealed only his name and unit number to the enemy. After two days of heightened tension, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan budged to Indian and international pressure and said Abhinandan will be released as per the Geneva Conventions.

On March 1, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: "Welcome Home Wing Commander Abhinandan! The nation is proud of your exemplary courage. Our armed forces are an inspiration for 130 crore Indians. Vande Mataram!"

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan tweeted: "There is no better feeling than Coming back Home, for home is the place of love, hope & dreams. Ur bravery makes us stronger. Eternally grateful. #WelcomeBackAbhinandan".

Actress Anushka Sharma, whose father is an Army man, said: "The entire nation welcomes you home Abhinandan. You are a true Hero."

Actress Alia Bhatt tweeted, "Our hero is home. #Abhinandan".

Actor Arjun Kapoor tweeted: "We salute your valour and the entire nation is extremely proud of you Wing Commander Abhinandan... Welcome home :)".

President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted: "Welcome home Wing Commander #AbhinandanVarthaman ! India is proud of your courage and sense of duty, and above all your dignity. Wishing you and our entire Air Force every success in the future."

Actor Varun Dhawan tweeted: "Welcome back home #WelcomeBackAbinandan a true hero. These humane actions give hope that all humanity is not lost. Bharat mata ki Jai".

Superstar Salman Khan had said earlier about the IAF's surgical strike on Pakistani terror camps, "Respect @IAF_MCC Indian Air Force... Jai ho !!!" However, he has not tweeted on Abhinandan yet.

Aamir Khan had tweeted after the Pulwama attack: "I am heartbroken to read about the terrorist attack on our CRPF Jawans in Pulwama. It's so tragic. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the Jawans who have lost their lives."