The 35-year-old Wing Commander was captured on Wednesday by Pakistan after his MiG-21 Bison fighter jet was hit by Pakistan Air Force jets near the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.
Indian Air Force (IAF) pilotAbhinandan Varthaman who is likely to be released by Pakistani authorities later in the day will be welcome by the scores of people.
Abhinandan is expected to be taken by air to Lahore, From Lahore to Wagah border via road.
Sources said that the pilot is likely to be handed over first to the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) under rules of the Geneva Convention where he will be debriefed by defence and security officials after his return. Abhinandan will then be taken to New Delhi from the Amritsar airport.
— Afroz Alam (@AfrozJournalist) March 1, 2019
Abhinandan’s parents, Air Marshal S. Varthaman (Retired) and mother Shobha Varthaman, who is a doctor, along with his in-lawa were cheered by passengers when they boarded a flight from Chennai to New Delhi on Thursday evening. They are expected to be in Attari to welcome their son back home.
People started arriving in Attari, around 30 km from the Sikh holy city of Amritsar, since 6 a.m. Their numbers swelled by 9 a.m.
Welcome home WC Abhinandan…
दुश्मन के छक्के छुड़ा दे हम INDIA वाले….
— Mudit Pathak (@pathak_mudit) March 1, 2019
“We have come here to welcome our country’s hero back home. Loud song of SRK’s film Happy new year- dushman ke chakkey chudha dengey is being played at the backdrop with the furling of our National flag is really a proud moment for all of us.
Our bollywood actors too feels elated over our real heroes arrival at the Wagah border. Tapsee pannu tweeted “the news of Abhinandan’s come back has brought our smiles back.”
Vivek oberoi also tweeted happy to see him back we all give a hearfelt welcome to our real life hero.. jai hind….