Balakot airstrike hero Abhinandan Varthaman awarded with Vir Chakra

The Indian force had launched an attack on Pakistan's terrorist facility in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area that was run by Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) on February 26.

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Image Source: India Today

Abhinanda Varthaman, an ace pilot of the Indian Air Force, was awarded Vir Chakra by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind in an investiture ceremony on Monday. Varthaman was recently promoted to the rank of Group Captain.

During combat on 27 February, a day before Balakot airstrike, he had shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter aircraft. The Twitter handle of the President of India tweeted about the same, the Tweet reads, "President Kovind presents Vir Chakra to Wing Commander (now Group Captain) Varthaman Abhinandan. He showed conspicuous courage, demonstrated gallantry in the face of the enemy while disregarding personal safety and displayed exceptional sense of duty."

In the process to combat the fighter jet of Pakistan, he flew over to the Pakistani occupied Kashmir. His MiG-21 was hit, and he had to eject from his jet in the territory controlled by Pakistan. 

The Pakistani army then took him in the custody but they were forced to release him due to the extensive pressure exerted by the Indians with the help of international intervention. Being a part of the Srinagar based 51 squadron, Varthaman was sent to fight an aerial attack that was launched by the Pakistanis on 27 February. The Indian force had launched an attack on Pakistan's terrorist facility in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area that was run by Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) on February 26.