IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman in Pakistan custody | @OfficialDGISPR/twitter
IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman in Pakistan custody | @OfficialDGISPR/twitter
Text Size:

New Delhi: After he realised that he had landed on the wrong side of the Line of Control (LoC), Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman fired in the air to run away from locals before being taken captive by the Pakistani military Wednesday, said a report.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) officer, who landed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in pursuit of an intruding Pakistani jet, even tried to swallow and destroy the documents he had with him.

On Thursday, Pakistan’s news daily Dawn reported a vivid account of his capture, which clearly showed that the officer did everything according to standing instructions in case of capture.

In the video of his questioning released by the Pakistan military Wednesday, Varthaman is clearly seen refusing to answer questions on what aircraft he flew or his residential details.

Also read: Pakistan is barred from torturing Wg Cdr Abhinandan, has to return him at end of hostilities

‘India or Pakistan?’

The report in the Pakistani daily said it was the local youth who first reached him before the army personnel.

The pilot, who was equipped with a pistol, asked the youngsters whether it was India or Pakistan.

“On this, one of them intelligently responded that it was India. The pilot, later identified as Wing Commander Abhi Nandan, shouted some slogans and asked which place exactly it was in India,” the report said.

“To this, the same boy responded that it was Qilla’n. The pilot told them that his ‘back was broken’ and he needed water to drink.”

At this moment, the IAF officer, son of a retired Air Marshal, shouted slogans and the youngsters responded to it by shouting slogans in favour of the Pakistan Army.

“On this, Abhinandan shot a fire in the air while the boys picked up stones in their hands… the Indian pilot ran a distance of half a kilometre in backward direction while pointing his pistol towards the boys who were chasing him,” the report said, adding that he fired in air to scare them off.

Then he jumped into a small pond where he took out some documents and maps from his pockets, some of which he tried to swallow and soaked the others in water, the daily reported.

The boys, one of whom had a gun, asked him to drop his weapon and in the meanwhile one boy shot at his leg, the report said.

“Finally, he came out and said he should not be killed. The boys got hold of him from both arms,” added the report.

Videos taken after his capture show that he was beaten up by the locals and the wounds later seen on his face were a result of this.

Tensions between the two nuclear neighbours have escalated in the last 48 hours with the Indian airstrikes Tuesday and subsequent Pakistani incursion Wednesday.

Also read: India demands safe return of captured IAF pilot, hands over evidence of JeM link to Pulwama


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism

6 Comments Share Your Views


  1. He is real hero of the country, he should be honered for the great job,he has done. Well
    done Abhi.

  2. First of all No one “landed” in Pakistan, two fighter jets were shot down, are you blind of not seeing the wreckage of both aircrafts?.
    Just because someone dresses in a certain way doesn’t make them a terrorist, they were local people and unarmed, if they would have been armed this pilot would have been shot in the head and not the leg. Pakistan Army came rushing to the spot and saved this downed pilot from the local mob so kudos to them for saving his life. Stop being arrogant and believing in bolloywood heroic stories when you don’t know the truth

  3. I am not satisfied with your post. The boy with gun… This sentence show your opinion is bias. A normal citizens never has a gun. The boy must be terrorists. And I have seen the viral videos. Those man were what I consider a terrorist with those clothes wrapped in their face.

    I can see the people, look like the very terrorist slapped and punched him.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here