No bug found in IAF pilot Abhinandan's body

No bug found in IAF pilot Abhinandan's body

Abhinandan diagnosed with 'compression fracture'

New Delhi: Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman meets Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman at Army's R.R. hospital, who was captured by Pakistan during an aerial combat, in New Delhi, Saturday, March 2, 2019. (PTI Photo) (PTI3_2_2019_

Indian Air Force fighter pilot Wg Cdr Abhinandan Varthaman has been diagnosed with “compression fracture” in the lower spine, but no scans conducted on him could find any implanted bug as suspected by security officials.

The MiG-21 pilot who was engaged with a Pakistan F-16 war jet in a dogfight in Jammu and Kashmir had to eject after his aircraft was hit by the Pakistan forces.

He ejected, landed on the Pakistan soil, was beaten by the locals before being rescued by the Pakistan Army and finally returned to India after spending nearly 58 hours in Pakistan.

Doctors now examine how serious is Abhinandan's “compression fracture” in the lower spine and whether he can return to fighter flying.

Another IAF pilot Flt Lt K Nachiketa, who was held captive by Pakistan during the Kargil war and returned after 8 days, could no longer fly a fighter aircraft because of the injury caused during ejection and flew transport aircraft in the later part of his career in IAF.

Wh Cdr Abhinandan is also understood to have some fracture in one of the ribs, possibly caused by the beatings that he took.

Scanning couldn't reveal the presence of any implanted bugs in Abhinandan's body, sources said.

The debriefing of the Wing Commander began on Sunday and likely to continue for few more days in the Army Hospital, Research and Referral where he is expected to stay for some more time.

Varthaman arrived in the national capital by an IAF flight at around 11:45 pm Friday, nearly two-and-half hours after he crossed over to India through the Attari-Wagah border. A video released by the Pakistan Army showing Varthaman displaying courage and grace in captivity while handling a very difficult circumstance turned him overnight a national hero.

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