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IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman fought captors, swallowed documents before being captured: Report

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, will be released on Friday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced.

india Updated: Mar 01, 2019 08:33 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
India news,Abhinandan varthaman,Imran Khan
The Indian Air Force pilot, who has been the centre of global attention since his capture on Wednesday, will be released on Friday(HT File Photo)

Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman raised patriotic slogans, fired in the air and stuffed his mouth with documents when he landed on Pakistani soil after ejecting from his fighter jet, says the headman of a village on the other side of the border.

The Indian Air Force pilot, who has been the centre of global attention since his capture after a MiG 21 Bison he was flying was shot during an aerial dogfight with Pakistani air force on Wednesday, will be released on Friday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced in Parliament.

Also read:Pakistan to release captured IAF pilot tomorrow as ‘peace gesture’: Imran Khan

Recounting the dramatic events leading to his capture, Mohammad Razzaq Chaudhry, the chief of Horran village in Pakistan, told the BBC that he ran to the spot along with other villagers when he saw the MiG 21 crashing to the ground. Wing Commander Varthaman’s first question on landing was whether he was in India, Chaudhry said, disclosing that the pilot was pelted with stones and also shot in the leg. “I had seen the Indian flag on his parachute and knew he was Indian,” Chaudhry was quoted as saying.

Also read: Parts of Pakistan’s AMRAAM missile found in J&K’s Rajouri: Proof shown at defence briefing

According to the 58-year-old eyewitness, the Wing Commander asked some of the villagers if he was in India, and the villagers tricked him with an affirmative response, leading the pilot to raise patriotic slogans about India. However, he was in for a shock. “The boys around him responded by saying, ‘Long live Pakistan’!” Chaudhury told the BBC, adding that Wing Commander Varthaman then pulled out his gun and fired in the air to intimidate them. The move led to more hostility and the villagers began pelting stones at the IAF pilot.

Wing Commander Varthaman was also assaulted by the “angry” mob and then the Pakistani Army officers came and took him away.

First Published: Feb 28, 2019 21:32 IST