Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman, who shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter aircraft in February 2019 as a Wing Commander, has been awarded the Vir Chakra for his service today in an investiture ceremony by Indian President Ram Nath Kovind.
In 2019, when Abhinandan Varthaman was a Wing Commander, he got involved in a ruthless battle with a Pakistani fighter jet amid the aerial conflicts that were underway between Indian and Pakistan at the time, following the Pulwama attack.
Amid the fight between the two fighter planes, Abhinandan Varthaman brought down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet in aerial combat, after which his aircraft was shot down by the Pakistani Air Force. He had landed in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and was taken into custody by the Pakistani Army.
The officer dazzled the country with his bravery and the drive to protect his nation, his fearlessness while in custody also made him a true patriot. Varthaman was later released by the Pakistani government after pressure was put on Islamabad by New Delhi.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was later promoted to the post of Group Captain on November 3, 2021. He remains one of the most well-known and celebrated officers in the Indian Air Force at the moment, as his bravery gathered a lot of appreciation for him during the international conflict.
During the investiture ceremony today, Sapper Prakash Jadhav has been posthumously presented the second-highest peacetime gallantry award Kirti Chakra. Jadhav was one of the main officers who neutralized the terrorists in an operation in Jammu and Kashmir.