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India sends pilot Abhinandan on ‘sick leave’: report

NEW DELHI: Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, who was released by Pakistan as a “gesture of peace” towards New Delhi, has been sent on ‘sick leave’ by his country, Indian media reported.

According to NDTV, which quoted news agency ANI and sources in the Indian Air Force (IAF), the debriefing of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has been completed and he will be sent on sick leave for a few weeks’ time.

Further, “a decision on when Wing Commander Abhinandan can resume his operations as a fighter pilot will be taken by a medical board in [the] near future,” NDTV added, quoting the sources.

“The doctors at the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital have advised the Indian Air Force Pilot to go on a leave after the debriefing,” the publication noted.

Abhinandan, 35, was captured by Pakistan on February 27 when his MiG-21 warplane was shot down by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) after it intruded  into Pakistani airspace.

Read Also: Widow of killed Indian pilot appeals her nation to not cheer for war

Pakistani officials on March 1 handed over captured IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman to India authorities at Wahga Border crossing as a peace gesture aimed at calming tensions with New Delhi.

Since his release, the IAF officer had undergone multiple medical tests and had to face questioning in connection with his being in Pakistan army’s custody since his arrest.

A large number of world leaders have lauded Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to release Abhinandan.




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