Guwahati, March 1, 2019:
Air Warrior Abhinandan Varthaman, who was held in Pakistan as a prisoner-of-war after his MiG-21 aircraft crashed in Pakistan after engaging Pakistan Air Force F-16 Fighters in a deadly aerial battle, has finally returned India. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has posted a message on social media micro-blogging site Twitter:
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Welcome Home Wing Commander Abhinandan!
The nation is proud of your exemplary courage.
Our armed forces are an inspiration for 130 crore Indians.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 1, 2019
The handing over ceremony took place in the Wagah Border in the presence of IAF officials as well as 500 police personnel. His return, though, was delayed due to last minute paperwork as millions of Indians sat glued to either their television screens or smartphones for any sign of the war hero. It is to be mentioned that Pakistan changed the timing of the handover twice and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as well as External Affairs Ministry Officials were keeping a close tab on the proceedings.
The dramatic ceremony took hours as after Abhinandan arrived at the Wagah border, he was being checked for medical issues. The air warrior will be taken to national capital New Delhi via Amritsar.
It is to be mentioned that despite handing Abhinandan over, Pakistan Armed Forces have continued ceasefire violations along the Line of Control.