IAF pilot and Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman was awarded the Vir Chakra, the third-highest Indian military honour during wartime, on Monday. He was arrested in 2019 by Pakistani forces after his MiG 21 aircraft was shot down by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).
Abhinandan has been credited with “shooting down a Pakistani F-16 fighter during the February 2019 dogfight,” according to Indian media.
After his plane was shot down by the Pakistan Air Force, Abhinandan was arrested by the Pakistan Army. He was then released by Pakistan a few days later as a “peace gesture” to India by Prime Minister Imran Khan.