Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman of the IAF, who was held captive by the Pak army, was released on Friday shortly after 4.00 pm, at the Attari-Wagah Border. It was supposed to happen amidst a lot of celebration with the parents of the officer and his family. At around 4 pm he was brought to the Wagah side of the border. He was then moved from the Wagah Side of the Border to Attari where the IAF had received him along with the Border Security Force.
The crowd there, which had thinned out to some extent, kept chanting Bharat Mata ki Jai waving the Tricolour. People were advised to to take pictures of the IAF officer while the transfer took place. The beating the retreat ceremony that was prepared for his arrival also was canceled Even though the scene at the Border was quieter than usual, the country was in a spirit of excitement and celebration. Many came together to express their emotions and joy. It came to many of the countrymen as a surprise when the PM of Pakistan had announced the release of Wg Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman, 24 hours after his capture, amidst raising tension between the two countries.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman is to be taken to the Amritsar Airport right after a medical check-up, from where he will later be heading down south to his hometown. The IAF and Military Intelligence will also debrief the officer to learn as to how much information has been disclosed to the enemy. This is considered essential for counter measures to be put in place. Wing Commander Abhinandan’s struggle will go down history as the brave IAF pilot who brought down a superior aircraft, F-16 fighter jet, with an upgraded Mig-21. As someone said, to put it in a layman's language, it is Maruti 800 racing against a next generation Mercedes and winning the race. For years to come, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be remembered as a hero in the history of aviation, a flying David who brought down a Goliath of the skies.
Actor Preity Zinta teweeted to say that Americans were shocked at how a 65 year old Mig-21 could bring down an F-16