Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. Photo/ANI
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. Photo/ANI

PM Modi leads nation in welcoming Wing Commander Abhinandan back home

ANI | Updated: Mar 01, 2019 22:57 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar 1 (ANI): As the wait for Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s return to India came to an end at 9.20 pm, good wishes poured in from all quarters with Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeting: “Welcome home Wing Commander Abhinandan.”
“The nation is proud of your exemplary courage. Our armed forces are an inspiration for 130 crore Indians. Vande Mataram,” Prime Minister took to Twitter to share his sentiments and that of the nation on the occasion.
Wing Commander Abhinandan stepped on the India soil at 9.20 pm from Attari-Wagah border in Amritsar, Punjab, where thousands had been waiting for hours to have a glimpse of the brave IAF officer.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh two tweeted: “Welcome Home! The entire nation is proud of Wing Commander Abhinandan.”
Congress president Rahul Gandhi also expressed his happiness and also said that he is proud of the Air Force officer.
“Wing Cdr. Abhinandan, your dignity, poise, and bravery made us all proud. Welcome back and much love,” tweeted Gandhi.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also appreciated Abhinandan’s valour and grit. She tweeted: “Proud of you Wing Commander #Abhinandan Varthaman. The entire nation appreciates your valour and grit. You held your calm in the face of adversity. You are an inspiration to our youth. Salute. Vande Mataram.”
Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav also wrote on his Twitter account: “The nation salutes you Wing Commander. Welcome home!”
In a statement, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal said: “I am glad to learn that brave heart Abhinandan Varthaman who showed great calm and resilience in the face of adversity has returned from Wagah border to India.”
On Wednesday, Wing Commander Abhinandan, while flying the 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 Pakistani side and was shot down. He 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.
Wearing blue blazer and grey ‘khaki’ trouser, he crossed over into India from Attari-Wagah border at 9:20 pm. He was handed over by the Pakistan Rangers to the BSF following paperwork.
Wing Commander Abhinandan was accompanied by an officer of the Pakistan Foreign Office and Indian Defence Attaché Group Captain Joy Thomas Kurien. (ANI)