New Delhi: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman here Saturday and conveyed to him that the entire nation is proud of his courage and determination, officials said.
During the meeting at a medical facility of the Indian Air Force (IAF), Abhinandan is understood to have explained to Sitharaman details about his nearly 60 hour stay in Pakistan.
Abhinandan arrived at the Palam base in the national capital by an IAF flight around 11.45pm Friday, nearly two-and-half hours after he crossed over to India through the Attari-Wagah border.
Currently, he is undergoing medical tests at the Air Force Central Medical Establishment (AFCME), a compact and specialised medical evaluation centre for aircrew of all the three services.
When he crossed over to India Friday night, his right eye above his handlebar moustache appeared swollen.
Sources stated that after his arrival here, Abhinandan was allowed to meet his parents briefly. He went off to sleep at around 1.00am and slept soundly sources said at the (AFCME).
Throughout the day so far, various medical tests have been carried out on Abhinandan to determine how much physical and mental stress he has suffered since being captured by Pakistan troops. However, he is yet to undergo the ‘bug scanning’ routine. This is done on soldiers captured by the enemy to see whether some chip or communication mechanism has been implanted on his body.
Sources also stated that top Air Force officers have been talking to the Wing Commander throughout the day to find out the way in which the Pakistan Army has behaved with him after his capture. They said that the pilot will be under observation for a few days.
Abhinandan will also be briefed by his superiors regarding what to say to his family about his ordeal when he finally meets them and spends some time.
Wing Commander Varthaman is undergoing a series of medical tests as part of the ‘cooling down’ process and it is expected to continue till Sunday. Once, the health check up phase is over, debriefing sessions will be arranged for him, the officials said.