Abhinandan Varthaman to be awarded Bhagwan Mahavir Ahimsa Puraskar: Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is going to be the first receiver of the ‘Bhagwan Mahavir Ahimsa Puraskar’. The award is being introduced by the Akhil Bharatiya Digambar Jain Mahasamiti, a representative of the organisation said on Sunday.
Abhinandan Varthaman To Be Awarded Bhagwan Mahavir Ahimsa Puraskar
Varthaman, leading a Mig-21 Bison has shot down a Pakistan Air Force F-16 with an R-73 air-to-air missile in a combat on February 27 earlier his aircraft took a hit and he had to eject.
On Wednesday, February 27, the External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “The Pakistan Air Force was detected and the Indian Air Force responded instantly”.
He further included in his statement, “In that aerial engagement, one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG 21 Bison of the Indian Air Force. The Pakistani aircraft was seen by ground forces falling from the sky on the Pakistan side. In this engagement, we have unfortunately lost one MiG 21. The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has claimed that he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts”.
On the same day on February 27, Major General Asif Ghafoor, Pakistan military spokesman had claimed that Indian Air Force planes “strayed into Pakistani airspace” after its airstrikes. He also claimed that it had occupied one of its IAF pilots into custody.
Pakistan Army had also released a video that demonstrations a blindfolded man, classifying himself as a Wing Commander-rank IAF officer and his service number. At that moment, he asks that “Am I with the Pakistani Army”.
The tension rises up between both the neighbouring country and as a “gesture of peace” Pakistan Prime Minister on Thursday announced to release Abhinandan Varthaman on the very next day. And as per his promise he released Abhinandan Varthaman on Friday and after about 60 hours of custody in Pakistan, he finally stepped in to the homeland.
The IAF pilot missing was part of the Combat Air Patrol (CAP) that involved the on-coming Pakistani armed forces when Pakistan launched an air attack in Jammu and Kashmir. The Pakistan strike element included 12 fighters- Four Mirages, Four F-16 and Four JF-17 fighters. He was captured by Pakistan forces for about 60 hours and was released on March 1.
The award for the fighter pilot was declared in New Delhi by the association’s chairperson Manidra Jain, said its Maharashtra chapter convener Paras Lohade in Nashik.
The award was introduced this year only and it carries a cash prize of Rs 2.51 lakh as well as a memento and a citation. All this will be offered to Varthaman on April 17, happening together with Mahavir Jayanti, Lohade said.