Tensions between India and Pakistan heightened in the aftermath of Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed on February 14. Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack.
Days after Pulwama attack, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out an airstrike at a terror camp run by Jaish-e-Mohammed. During the following confrontation, IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman shot down a Pakistan F-16 jet on February 27.
Abhinandan had fired an R-73 missile to take out the Pakistan F-16 aircraft before his Mig 21 Bison was hit by an AMRAAM missile. The development now seals the fact that Pakistan had used an F-16 in an offensive role.
But IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman was captured by Pakistani forces. Abhinandan was, however, held captive but returned to India after three days.
An examination soon after his return from Pakistan revealed injuries to his ribs. Pakistani officials claimed the injuries were the result of assault by locals after his jet went down and asserted that he was treated in compliance with the Geneva Convection.
Wing Commander Varthaman said Pakistani authorities did not physically torture him but he was subjected to “mental harassment”.
In April, amid concerns over his security, the Air Force posted the Wing Commander to an unspecified air base in the western sector that is also along the Pakistan border. IAF Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa confirmed that the Wing Commander would resume his duties as soon as he was fit.