With hashtags like #BringBackAbhinandan and #AbhinandanMyHero trending on social media, the entire country is praying for the safety of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman who has been taken into custody by Pakistani Army after his jet went down in POK. While the Indian government is working overtime to get the officer back, at least two videos of him in Pak custody’s have gone viral. The government is yet to officially identify Wing Commander Abhinandan but retired senior officers from the IAF have now identified him to various news channels. Here are five things that you probably didn’t know about the brave heart.
1. His father is a retired Air Marshal.
Abhinandan Varthaman is a son of retired Air Marshal Simhakutty Varthaman who has received the Param Vishisht Seva Medal for his service to the nation. This award is given in recognition to peace-time service of the most exceptional order. Not just his father, Abhinandan's grandfather too is said to have served the Indian Air Force.
2. Abhinandan became a fighter pilot in 2004.
As per a report in DNA, Abhinandan's uncle Kundanathan has shared that the IAF pilot was 'inspired by his father and always wanted to be a pilot'. He is said to have commissioned as a fighter pilot in the year 2004. He underwent training in Tambaram Air Force station and has been serving the nation since then.
3. He is married and has a kid.
He hails from Thirupanamoor village which is approximately 15kms away from Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu. He is married and has a kid. The videos that are trending on social media have him agreeing to being married, but the pilot refused to share his residential details.
4. His wife also served the nation.
Talking about his family, his wife is also said to be a retired squadron leader while his mother is said to be a doctor.
5. He was riding aircraft MiG21 Bison.
The IAF pilot was riding MiG 21 Bison which was shot down by the Pakistani army. He managed to eject safely from the aircraft but he apparently landed across the Line of Control, say reports. Going by the videos, he was first spotted by the locals who mobbed him before the intervention of Pakistani Army.
We await more updates on his return.