New Delhi: A day after returning to India, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has reportedly informed the Indian Air Force (IAF) officials that he went through a lot of mental harassment while he was in the custody of Pakistani authorities.
“After returning from Pakistan, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has informed that though he was not physically tortured by the Pakistanis; he went through a lot of mental harassment,” news agency ANI quoted sources as saying.
Meanwhile, the IAF Wing Commander is currently undergoing medical tests at the Air Force Central Medical Establishment (AFCME), a compact and specialised medical evaluation centre for aircrew of all the three services. As per the officials, debriefing sessions will be arranged for him, once the the health check up phase is done.
Earlier in the day, he met Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, IAF chief BS Dhanoa and explained them about his nearly 60 hour stay in the neighbouring country.
He was held captive by Pakistani authorities on February 27 after his MiG 21 Bison went down during a dogfight with Pakistani jets. But before his plane was hit, Varthaman shot down an F-16 of Pakistan air force. He was also manhandled by a crowd after he landed in a village in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
After being captured, Varthaman showed courage and grace in the most difficult circumstances for which he was appreciated by politicians, celebrities and others. Showering praise on the Wing Commander, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the word “abhinandan” has assumed a new meaning.
“The strength of our country is that it changes the meaning of words in dictionary. ‘Abhinandan’ in English until now meant ‘congratulations’, but it will be different from now on,” Modi said towards the end of his speech at an event in national capital today.