New Delhi: The Indian Air Force is set to recommend Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman for wartime gallantry medal Vir Chakra for shooting down Pakistan Air Force’s F-16 in an aerial dogfight on February 27.
Reports suggest that while Abhinandan’s name will be moved for Vir Chakra, the 12 Mirage 2000 fighter pilots who carried out air strikes across terror camps in Pakistan will be recommended for the Vayu Sena Medal, for their display of exemplary courage and valour. The 12 Mirage 2000 aircraft bombed terror organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed camps in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26, days after JeM took responsibility for orchestrating the Pulwama terror attack wherein 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
Vir Chakra is the third highest gallantry award after the Param Vir Chakra and the Mahavir Chakra.
Meanwhile, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has been shifted out of his Srinagar air base to another in the western sector along the Pakistan border. The decision is believed to have been taken for his security.
A government official told news agency ANI, “The posting order of the officer has been issued and he would soon be moving out of the Srinagar base to his new place of posting.”
The new air force base, where Abhinandan is being posted to is also a fighter base, the official added.
This development comes only hours after it was reported that Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman may soon be cleared to enter the cockpit like a fighter pilot.