IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman suffered an injury in his lower spine when he ejected from his MiG-21 fighter jet last week after an aerial engagement with an F-16 that had transgressed into Indian air space, news agency ANI quoted sources as saying on Sunday.
The MRI scans revealed that though no bugs had been found on the IAF pilot, there were signs of two injuries. While one injury was on his lower spine when he ejected from his plane, the other injury was on a rib, news agency ANI quoted sources as saying. The second injury was possibly suffered when he was assaulted by some locals when he parachuted into Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) after his plane was shot down.
The agency also reported that Wing Commander Abhinandan will undergo some more check ups and treatment at the Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi Cantonment.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was repatriated to India on Friday after spending more than 50 hours in the custody after the Pakistan Army after he ejected out of his fighter jet over Pakistani territory when his MiG-21 was shot down.
The 35-year-old IAF pilot Abhinandan was among the first fighter jets that had been scrambled to repulse a package of nearly 24 fighter jets of the Pakistan Air Force that had transgressed into Indian airspace with a view to target Indian military installations in the Rajouri sector. The PAF assault came a day after Indian Mirage 2000 jets bombed a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp at Balakot in an unprecedented, peace-time cross-border air strike.
Immediately after he stepped onto Indian soil at the Attari-Wagah border near Amritsar, Wing Commander Abhinandan was brought to Delhi where he met his family for a few minutes before he was taken to the medical facility at Delhi Cantonment to undergo tests.
Wing Commander Abhinandan is currently in “cooling down” phase and is being kept under medical observation and being given counselling. He will also undergo various medical tests to ensure he is physically fit before he gets back in a fighter jet’s cockpit.
Abhinandan is the first Indian pilot to have shot down the US-made F-16 fighter jet.
During the course of his medical tests, and psychological evaluation, he is reported to have told the authorities that though he was not physically harmed, he had undergone a lot of mental harassment in Pakistani custody.
Early on Saturday, he met Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and before that he had met IAF chief Air Marshal BS Dhanoa and had apprised him of his detention in Pakistan.