IAF pilot Abhinandan was captured two days ago by the Pakistan Army after his MiG-21 Bison was shot down as he chased PAF intruders. Abhinandan walked across the Zero Line at 9.20 pm as the Pakistan Rangers handed him over to the BSF Friday night via the Wagah-Attari border crossing.
“We have Wg Cdr Abhinandan back with us.
Indian Air Force is proud of our Airwarrior #Abhinandan. #WelcomeHomeAbhinandan,” tweeted Indian Air Force.
Air Vice Marshal R G K Kapoor, reading from a prepared statement, told reporters: “Wing Commander Abhinandan has just been handed over to us as per standing operating procedure of Indian Air Force. We will now take him for a detailed medical check-up. This check-up is mandated particularly because the officer has had to eject from an aeroplane which would have put his entire body under great stress. IAF is happy to have Abhinandan back.”
In a series of tweets, the Air Force drew attention to its “diary of events” and gave an account of the air battle.
“On 27 Feb 19 at around 1000 hrs IAF radars detected a large package of PAF aircraft heading towards the Indian territory towards general area Jhangar. They breached the Indian airspace west of Rajauri in Sunderbani Area,” the Air Force said.
“Ingressing aircraft were observed to be at various levels. IAF fighters including MiG-21Bison, Su-30MKI, Mirage-2000 were tasked to intercept the intruder. PAF aircraft attempting to target military installations, were intercepted by IAF fighters & thwarted their plans,” it said.
“Although PAF bombs have fallen in Indian Army Formation compounds however they were unable to cause any damage to our Military Installations.
In the aerial combat that ensued one F-16 of PAF was shot down by an IAF MiG-21 Bison. The F-16 crashed and fell across the LOC,” the thread of tweets continued to say.
“The IAF lost one MiG-21 in the aerial engagement & the Pilot ejected safely, his parachute drifted into POJ&K where he was taken into custody by Pakistan Army,” it said.
The air strike by the IAF came over two weeks after 40 CRPF soldiers were killed in a suicide attack by a terrorist of Jaish-e-Mohammed