Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on Thursday, March 14, was advised to go on sick leave after the completion of debriefing process, according to reports. Abhinandan's debriefing was done by the IAF and other agencies.
Sources said that his sick leave will be extended for up to three weeks -- on the advice of doctors of Army's Research and Referral Hospital. Also, a medical review board in the near future will assess the medical fitness of the IAF braveheart and decide when he can resume his operations as a fighter jet pilot. During Abhinandan's debriefing process, he narrated his experience in enemy captivity, where, he said, he was subjected to extreme mental torture.
Earlier, addressing a press conference in Coimbatore, Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa clearly said that IAF hero Abhinandan Varthaman will fly again when he is fit to fly an aircraft. When questioned about IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will fly a fighter jet, BS Dhanoa said, "Whether he will fly or not will depend on his fitness." Abhinandan Varthaman has earlier conveyed to the IAF brass that he wanted to return to the cockpit as soon as possible.
A QUICK RECAP
Tension mounted between arch-rivals India and Pakistan after Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed over 40 CRPF jawans in Jammu and Kasmir's Pulwama district on February 14.
In retaliation, India carried out a pre-dawn airstrike on a JeM terror camp in Balakot sector at 3:30 am, reportedly killing 200-300 terrorists.
A day after, Pakistan Air Force jets entered Indian airspace near LoC and dropped bombs in the country's territory.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was captured on February 27 after his MiG-21 Bison was hit by the Pakistan Army across the Line of Control (LoC).
A day after, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that Abhinandan would be released Friday as a "peace gesture". The whole country celebrated the homecoming of the IAF pilot with - what else? - tricolours, garlands, and cameras to give Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman a hero's welcome.