New Delhi: Ace fighter pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who shot down a Pakistani F-16 from his MiG-21 chose to go back to his squadron in Srinagar during his four-week sick leave, instead of spending time at his Chennai family home.
After his debriefing and treatment at the Research and Referral Hospital got over a few days ago, the officer was advised to go on a four-week sick leave by his doctors.
“During his sick leave, the officer had the option of going to his family home in Chennai where his parents live but he decided to go back to Srinagar where his squadron is deployed for operations,” sources in Air Force told ANI.
“At the moment, the officer has decided to stay with his men and machines in Srinagar and would be required to come back to New Delhi for a review medical board which will decide on his fitness for flying fighter planes,” sources said.
The officer has the freedom to decide where he wants to spend his time during his sick leave period.
The Wing Commander was held captive by Pakistani authorities on February 27 after his MiG 21 Bison went down during a beyond visual range combat with Pakistani jets.
Before his plane was hit, he shot down an F-16 of Pakistan air force. He was also manhandled by a crowd after he landed in a village in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. He ejected safely and was taken into custody by the Pakistan Army when his parachute drifted and fell inside the PoK.
Abhinandan was released on March 1 after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on February 28 announced to release him as “a peace gesture.”