|WELCOME … Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman crosses Wagah border and walks past… Friday night.|
NEWS / ABHINANDAN
WAGAH BORDER: A heroic welcome greeted Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman as he crossed the Wagah border along with senior Indian Air Force and other senior officials after 9pm Friday night, after going through prolonged procedural formalities lasting over four hours since his arrival near the gate to India at around 5pm.
India’s pride, Wing Commander Abhinandan was taken to the Amritsar Air Force base by senior IAF officials. He will likely have rest there for the night before proceeding by flight to Delhi to meet Prime Minister Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman Saturday.
He seemed having a swollen cheek, apparently from the brutality he faced from his Pakistani handlers — the locals, though he seemed to have got a good treatment at the hands of the military brass later. -IHN-NN
UPDATE: 1900HRS: Abhinandan yet to be brought into public view, it’s taking long for processes to be gone through, and there is no official word on why this dealy…and there are drizzles in Wagah…
WAGAH BORDER: Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was handed back to India at a ceremony here after 5pm, by the Red Cross, which took his custody from the Pakistani military earlier in the day on Friday. The formalities were being gone through thereafter and he’s expected to be presented before the media soon, officials on the spot said.
Abhinandan’s family, including his parents, were at hand to receive him, alongside a huge gathering of well-wishers and nationalistic-spirited youths, who carried banners, Welcome Back, Abhinandan.
Abhinandan would be taken to Amritsar and then flown to New Delhi, where he is likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman as also top Service chiefs.
The Wing Commander went into Pakistani military custody after his MiG21 fighter jet was shot down by enemy fire on September 27 in a face-off over the sky above LoC, but after Abhinandan shot down a F16 of the Pakistani Air Force by chasing it away from Indian skies, and ending up in the skies over the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. He then parachuted down to safety.
Punjab chief minister Amrinder Singh who was to be present at Wagah border to receive Abhinandan cancelled his plans. –IHN-NN