Indian Air Force ace pilot Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman will be awarded the Vir Chakra by President Ram Nath Kovind in an investiture ceremony today for shooting down a Pakistani F-16 fighter aircraft on February 27, 2019.
Varthaman was recently promoted to the rank of Group Captain. Abhinandan shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter aircraft during aerial combat on February 27 a day after the Balakot airstrike.
In the process, he flew over Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and his MiG-21 was hit and he had to eject over the territory controlled by the enemy.
He was then taken into custody by the Pakistan Army. The Pakistan Army was forced to release him due to the extensive pressure exerted by the Indian side along with international intervention into the matter.
Abhinandan was part of the Srinagar-based 51 squadron and had flown to thwart an aerial attack launched by the Pakistanis on February 27, 2019.
India had launched an aerial strike on Pakistan’s terrorist facility in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area run by the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) on February 26.