Abhinandan sustained injuries to spine, rib; No bugs found
New Delhi: No bugs have been found implanted in Indian Air Force pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman during an MRI scan, a source said on Sunday.
The security agencies were understood to have been checking for any bugs which could be present in Varthaman, who was returned by Pakistan on Friday.
The scan also showed an injury in his lower spine which could have happened following his ejection from the MiG-21 fighter plane after a dogfight with Pakistani F-16 jets on Wednesday, the source said.
He also has a rib injury due to an assault by the Pakistani locals soon after he landed on ground in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir after his aircraft was shot down.
Varthaman will undergo more check-ups and treatment at the Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi Cantonment for the next 10 days, the source said. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Air Chief Birender Singh Dhanoa had met the pilot on Saturday.
On Wednesday, Varthaman, flying a MiG 21 Bison, was chasing Pakistani F-16 fighters which had transgressed into the Indian airspace, and in the process, his plane crossed over to the Pakistani side and was shot down. Abhinandan ejected safely but was taken into custody by the Pakistan Army upon landing. Before his plane was shot, he had hit a Pakistani F-16.
On Thursday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the release of Varthaman, calling it a “peace gesture”. India used diplomatic and military pressure to ensure that Pakistan releases Varthaman unconditionally, according to top sources in New Delhi.
India mounted pressure on Pakistan through the international community, with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval holding talks with the US and other P-5 countries, the sources said. The External Affairs Ministry also exerted pressure on Pakistan through the Arab world, they said.