Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be conferred Vir Chakra on Independence day for shooting down Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jet during aerial combat which took place on February 27 after Pakistan Air Force (PAF) violated the Indian airspace. In the aerial dogfight, Wg Cdr Varthaman’s Mig-21 Bison was also shot down. Though he ejected safely but his parachute drifted to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). The Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot was then captured by the Pakistani Army. He was later released on March 1. Pakistan Air Force Pilot Shahzaz Ud Din Whose F-16 Was Shot Down by Wg Cd Abhinandan Varthaman Mistaken to be Indian; Lynched by PoK Locals?
Apart from Wg Cdr Varthaman, Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal who intercepted PAF aircraft on February 27 will also be conferred Yudh Seva Medal. The five IAF pilots – Wing Commander Amit Ranjan, Squadron Leaders Rahul Basoya, Pankaj Bhujade, BKN Reddy and Shashank Singh are being awarded the Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry) for carrying out airstrikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist camp in Pakistan’s Balakot to avenge February 14 Pulwama attack. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman Posted at Suratgarh Airbase in Rajasthan: Reports.
The IAF conducted airstrikes in Pakistan on February 26 two weeks after the Pulwama terror attack. IAF’s Mirage-2000 fighter jets crossed the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and targeted the JeM terror camp in Balakot with precision, guided missiles. ‘R-73 Selected’, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s Last Radio Message Before Ejecting Out of Mig-21 Bison.
Meanwhile, Prakash Jadhav of 1 Rashtriya Rifle will be awarded Kirti Chakra posthumously. Jadhav was martyred while fighting terrorists in Kulgham area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district in November last year. Apart from Jadhav, eight other army personnel including Major Vibhuti Dhoundiyal and Lance Naik Sandeep Singh will be conferred Shaurya Chakra posthumously.