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.
On February 27, when the entire nation was praying for the safety of Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was taken into custody by the Pakistan Army after his aircraft crashed into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), we lost lost six IAF personnel in a Mi-17 V5 helicopter crash in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district. Amongst the deceased were Wing Commander Sidharth Sharma and Squadron Leader Ninad Mandavgane. 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?
The other IAF personnel who lost their lives in the crash were identified as Sergeant Vikrant Sherawat, Corporal Deepak Pandey, Corporal Pankaj Kumar and engineer Vishal Kumar Pandey. One Civilian was also killed in the crash. The 20-year-old Kifayat Hussain, was caught in the explosion after the crashed helicopter landed in fields in Budgam. The accident occurred at 10:10 am in the morning on February 27. Lockheed Martin Busts Pakistan’s Lie; American Aircraft Manufacturer Not to Sue India For Claiming IAF’s MiG-21 Bison Shot Down PAF F-16 Fighter Jet.
Yesterday, the last rites of Wing Commander Vashisht was performed in Chandigarh. The IAF officer’s wife, Aarti is also a squadron leader. She laid a wreath before the last rites were performed. The IAF officer was a fourth-generation member from his family in the armed forces. He was commissioned in the IAF in 2010 and last month, he received commendation for his role in the rescue operation during the Kerala floods.
Last rites of Wing Commander Vashisht:
Meanwhile, the last rites of Sq Ldr Mandavgane were performed at Amardham Crematorium in Nashik were performed at Amardham Crematorium in Nashik on Friday with full state honours. People who gathered in large number at the crematorium to bid adieu to the pilot, shouted slogans for the martyr. On this his wife asked people to join defence forces instead of shouting slogans. who died in the line of duty. Last rites of Sq Ldr Mandavgane:
The crash took place at around 10:00 am when the IAF was responding to the air space violation by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). Initially, there were rumours that the ill-fated Mi-17 chopper was attacked by the PAF which crossed the Line of Control on Wednesday. Pakistan later denied any involvement in the crash. Meanwhile, on March 1, Pakistan released Wing Commander Varthaman after he was taken into custody by the Pakistan army after his fighter plane Mig-21 Bison crashed into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir during an ensuing battle. In the engagement, he also shot down Pakistan’s F-16 warplane before getting hit.