Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman awarded Vir Chakra on Monday

Balakot airstrike hero IAF Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman was awarded the Vir Chakra on November 22, by President Ram Nath Kovind

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NH Web Desk

Balakot airstrike hero IAF Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman was awarded the Vir Chakra on November 22, by President Ram Nath Kovind at an investiture ceremony. He was honoured for shooting down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet in February 2019

Here’s all that happened

On February 14, 2019

• A suicide bomber attacked CRPF convoy in J&K’s Pulwama

• 40 CRPF personnel were martyred in the attack and 35 were left injured

• Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility

On February 26, 2019

• In retaliation, IAF jets bombed the JeM camp in Pakistan's Balakot

• IAF crossed LoC for the first time since 1971 war

On February 27, 2019

• 24 Pakistan Air Force jets entered the Indian airspace near the LoC

• IAF foiled PAF retaliation after Abhinandan, while piloting a MiG 21…

shot down Pakistan's F-16 fighter jet but was taken captive by Pakistan Army

• His plane was shot down by enemy forces

• Abhinandan was a Wing Commander back then

On February 28, 2019

• Pakistan PM Imran Khan announced the release of Abhinandan as a "peace gesture"

On March 1, 2019

• Abhinandan walked over into India through the Attari-Wagah border

Abhinandan is the only Mig-21 pilot ever to have shot down an F-16. It also marks the first MIG-21 kill of the legendary F-16 in the world. The IAF earlier promoted Abhinandan to the rank of Group Captain.

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