The Balakot airstrikes by India demolishing the terrorist camp run by Jaish-e-Mohammed, led to a retaliatory incursion by Pakistan, aimed at targeting Indian military installations this morning. IAF jets chased the Pakistani F-16 in the bargain, downing one of them. Unfortunately however, the IAF lost a Mig 21 to anti-aircraft fire from the ground. Only late in the afternoon did the MEA and IAF in a joint briefing confirm that a pilot was missing in action.
The missing pilot was identified as Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman and in a video which has gone viral, the blindfolded IAF pilot is seen bleeding from his forehead.
On being asked about his squadron, Wing Commander Abhinandan refuses to divulge any information in response. The son of an ex-IAF offficer, Wing Commander Abhinandan was a member of the elite SKAT-Surya Kiran Acrobatic Team, implying that he was a highly accomplished pilot.