Wing commander Abhinandan of the Indian Air Force will now be honoured with the Vir Chakra award on Independence Day. Along with this, Squadron Leader Minty Aggarwal will be awarded the Yudh Seva Medal. Abhinandan shot down an aircraft on February 27 after chasing Pakistan’s F-16 aircraft from a MiG-21 bison aircraft. Later, his plane became the target of a missile, before it was destroyed, he got out of the aircraft and then got stuck in PoK. He was arrested there however, after pressure from India, Pakistan had to leave him.
Besides, five pilots who demolished the hideouts of terrorist organization Jaish-e-Mohammed will receive ‘Air Force Medal’. Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal, who assumed the responsibility of fighter controller during the infiltration of Pak planes into Kashmir, will be given the War Service Medal. This time, Minty is the only woman to receive the Bravery Award. Abhinandan will receive the Veer Chakra for dauntless courage during the war. It is the third-highest military honour given during the war. The five pilots are Wing Commander Amit Ranjan, Squadron Leader Rahul Basoya, Pankaj Bhujade, BKN Reddy and Shashank Singh. They had bombed the “Spice 2000 bomb” made in Israel at the Jaish-e-Mohammed targets.
The Pakistani terrorist Masood Azhar took the responsibility of the terrorist attack on CRPF convoy in Pulwama on 14 February. 40 CRPF soldiers were martyred in the attack. After this, the Indian Air Force carried out a surgical airstrike at the terrorist bases located in Balakot.
Angered by the airstrike, Pakistan sent some F-16 aircraft to attack India’s military bases in Kashmir the next day, on 27 February. Pakistani planes tried to attack by infiltration, but due to the agility of the Indian Air Force, its wicked plans were destroyed. They were repelled by India’s MiG-21 and Mirage 2000 fighter jets. The MiG-21 pilot Abhinandan shot down the Pakistan aircraft. During this time Indian aircraft also got damaged and fell into PoK from where the Pakistani troops caught Abhinandan.
Pakistan decided to release Wing Commander Abhinandan unconditionally, bowing to the stern attitude of India. On 28 February 2019, Prime Minister Imran Khan himself announced it in the House and said that he does not want war with India. After this, India diplomatically rescued him on 1 March.