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Indian students pray for a speedy release of Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman. Photo: AFP
Indian students pray for a speedy release of Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman. Photo: AFP

Standing ovation for Abhinandan Varthaman’s parents on Chennai-Delhi flight

  • Abhinandan’s family has a record of serving the Indian Air Force for generations since World War II
  • Abhinandan Varthaman's parents were coming from Chennai to New Delhi to receive their son

As the nation is preparing to welcome Abhinandan Varthaman, the Indian Air Force’s pilot who was captured by Pakistan on Wednesday, his parents received a standing ovation from co-passengers on a flight to New Delhi. Abhinandan Varthaman's parents were coming from Chennai to New Delhi to receive their son, who is likely to be released by Pakistan late on Friday afternoon. They are on their way to Amritsar to receive their son at the Attari-Wagah border.

In a gesture of gratitude, fellow passengers on a Chennai-Delhi flight, waited for the parents to deplane first, instead of rushing to deboard. They constantly cheered the couple, a video clip shows.

Watch video: Parents of IAF pilot Abhinandan get standing ovation in flight

Abhinandan’s family has a record of serving the Indian Air Force for generations since World War II. Abhinandan's father S Varthaman was an Air Marshall and grandfather Simhakutty was a member of the force.

Catch all the latest updates: Pakistan set to release IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman at Wagah border

Pakistan held Abhinandan after fighter jets of both nations engaged in an air battle following an unsuccessful attempt to target Indian military installations in retaliatory strikes.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday announced that the IAF pilot would be released on Friday as a "gesture of peace".

Also read: Masood Azhar is in Pakistan, admits foreign minister Qureshi

Earlier, Abhinandan’s the proud father said, "Thank you my friends for your concern and wishes. I thank God for his blessings, Abhi is alive, not injured, sound in mind, just look at the way he talked so bravely...a true soldier...we are so proud of him."

With inputs from PTI

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