High on josh, crowds swell at Attari-Wagah for Abhinandan's return from Pakistan

  • Thousands of Indians, some waving flags and singing, gathered Friday near Wagah border to welcome IAF pilot
  • A delegation of IAF team will on Friday receive Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman
Thousands of Indians, some waving flags and singing, gathered Friday near Wagah border to welcome Abhinandan Varthaman, the Indian Air Force Wing Commander who was captured by Pakistan. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
1/6Thousands of Indians, some waving flags and singing, gathered Friday near Wagah border to welcome Abhinandan Varthaman, the Indian Air Force Wing Commander who was captured by Pakistan. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Varthaman was captured by Pakistan on Wednesday after his aircraft was hit when IAF jets intercepted an attempted intrusion by Pakistan's air force. All eyes are on Wagah through where he is expected to return to India. Photo: PTI
2/6Varthaman was captured by Pakistan on Wednesday after his aircraft was hit when IAF jets intercepted an attempted intrusion by Pakistan's air force. All eyes are on Wagah through where he is expected to return to India. Photo: PTI
The mood at the border point on Friday morning was jubilant with hundreds of locals as well as those from nearby cities and villages turned up to welcome Varthaman. Several carried garlands and India’s flag as they congregated at a designated crowd spot. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
3/6The mood at the border point on Friday morning was jubilant with hundreds of locals as well as those from nearby cities and villages turned up to welcome Varthaman. Several carried garlands and India’s flag as they congregated at a designated crowd spot. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Abhinandan Varthaman's parents receive a standing ovation from the co-passengers in a flight in New Delhi. In a gesture of gratitude, fellow passengers on a Chennai-Delhi flight, waited for the parents to deplane first, instead of rushing to deboard. Photo: Reuters
4/6Abhinandan Varthaman's parents receive a standing ovation from the co-passengers in a flight in New Delhi. In a gesture of gratitude, fellow passengers on a Chennai-Delhi flight, waited for the parents to deplane first, instead of rushing to deboard. Photo: Reuters
A delegation of IAF team will on Friday receive Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, official sources said. It is still not clear whether Varthaman will be handed over to the International Red Cross or to the Indian authorities by Pakistan. Photo: Reuters
5/6A delegation of IAF team will on Friday receive Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, official sources said. It is still not clear whether Varthaman will be handed over to the International Red Cross or to the Indian authorities by Pakistan. Photo: Reuters
The highly symbolic Wagah crossing point, where the handover is due to take place, is famed for hosting colourful ceremonies by Indian and Pakistani soldiers each day at sundown. BSF said that the daily retreat and flag-lowering ceremony at Attari-Wagah border cancelled for today. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
6/6The highly symbolic Wagah crossing point, where the handover is due to take place, is famed for hosting colourful ceremonies by Indian and Pakistani soldiers each day at sundown. BSF said that the daily retreat and flag-lowering ceremony at Attari-Wagah border cancelled for today. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
OTHER GALLERIES