NEW DELHI: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has transferred Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by Pakistan after his aircraft was shot down during an aerial combat between the two countries, out of his Kashmir Air Force station, a news report said Saturday.
The IAF officer was transferred out of the Srinagar airforce facility amid concerns over his safety in Kashmir valley, news agency ANI reported.
Abhinandan has been posted to an important station in the Western sector, the report added without any further details.
There was no immediate official confirmation of the transfer of Wing Commander Abhinandan from the Indian Air Force spokesman in New Delhi.
Abhinandan’s MiG 21 Bison aircraft was shot down by Pakistan after the IAF scrambled its fighter jets on 27 February to thwart a bid by 24 Pakistan Air Force jets to violate Indian air space:
The Pakistani air raid followed the IAF bombing a terrorist training facility in Pakistan’s Balakot region in Khyber Paktunkhwa province a day earlier. This came in the wake of the 14 February suicide attack on an Indian security convoy in Kashmir which was blamed on the Pakistan based Jaish e Mohammed terrorist group.
Abhinandan was shot down after he crossed into Pakistan administered Kashmir and though he safely bailed out of his aircraft, he landed in territory under Pakistani control and was captured by Pakistani forces.
He was however handed over to India on 1 March after which he was admitted to the Indian Army’s Research and Referral hospital in New Delhi for possible injuries sustained during his bail out from his aircraft. He also underwent many rounds of debriefing by Indian intelligence agencies. He was then sent on leave for three weeks after which he had joined duty last month.