Balakot airstrike hero, Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman honored with the Vir Chakra. President Ram Nath Kovind honored him in the national capital for bringing down a Pakistani F-16 fighter aircraft during aerial combat on February 27, 2019. Varthaman was promoted from Wing Commander to the rank of Group Captain earlier this month. President honored him with Vir Chakra, India’s third-highest wartime gallantry medal in an investiture ceremony. The Pakistani Army captured Varthaman on February 27, 2019, after his MiG-21 Bison jet shot down in a dogfight with the Pakistani jets.
The Balakot airstrike was carried out against the terror camps at Balakot of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. However, It carried out in response to the deadly Pulwama attack that claimed the lives of 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel.. It was the first aerial assault carried of India in Pakistan after the 1971 India-Pakistan war. On February 26, 2019, around 3.30 am, 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets crossed the Line of Control (LoC). They destroyed the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot.
The Balakot airstrike demonstrated India’s prowess to retaliate against Pakistan’s sinister intentions.
The Balakot airstrike demonstrated India’s prowess to retaliate against Pakistan’s sinister intentions. Codenamed as ‘Operation Bandar’, the airstrike the seventh and ninth squadrons of the Indian Air Force conducted. Meanwhile, After the strike, over two dozen fighter planes, including F-16s left Pakistani bases aiming to hit the Indian military installations. But the Indian Air force in anticipation of such an attack was ready and an aerial dogfight ensued. Varthaman exited safely but the Pak army captured him. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced the capture and India demanded his unconditional and safe return.
President Kovind also conferred the second-highest peacetime gallantry award to Sapper Prakash Jadhav (Posthumously) on Monday. Sapper Jadhav was from the Corps of Engineers. The President conferred him with the Kirti Chakra for an anti-terror operation in Jammu and Kashmir. He had neutralized a terrorist. Jadhav, who belonged to Karnataka, was grievously injured in the ensuing gunfight. His wife and mother received the award from the president. Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal, Naib Subedar Submit among others whom the President conferred gallantry awards for their valor, courageous action, and self-sacrifice.