Rib Injury, Mental Torture: What We Know About Abhinandan’s Health

A rib injury could have happened due to assault by Pakistani locals after he ejected himself from his MiG-21.

Updated
India
2 min read
Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by Pakistan on 27 February returned to India on Friday, 1 March, to a hero’s welcome.
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A medical examination of IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who returned to India on Friday, 1 March, has revealed a rib injury which could have happened due to the assault by Pakistani locals after he ejected himself from his MiG-21, which was shot down by Pakistan, following an aerial engagement with its F-16 jet, reported ANI.

An MRI scan also revealed an injury in the lower spine which could have happened due to his ejection from his MiG-21. However the news agency added that no bug or spying devices were found in Varthaman’s body.

The IAF pilot will undergo more check-ups and treatments at the Research and Referral Hospital at Delhi Cantonment for the next 10 days.

‘Subjected to Loud Music and Bright Lights to Not Let Him Sleep’

The IAF pilot is also believed to have been subjected to loud music and bright lights in order to not let him sleep and make him feel disoriented, according to security and defence sources cited by ThePrint.

One of the sources told the news website that Abhinandan was tortured mentally and “was not allowed to sleep for the first 24 hours” so as to break him down. He was also subjected to repeated questioning by officials from the Pakistani establishment.

According to a report in Hindustan Times, Varthaman has told the authorities that he was not tortured but was subjected to mental harassment in Pakistan.

“Everyone knows how Pakistan circulated a heavily edited propaganda video featuring Abhinandan to spread disinformation,” an official told the daily.

Wing Commander Wants to Return to The Cockpit

After his return, Wing Commander Varthaman has conveyed to the IAF brass that he wants to return to the cockpit as soon as possible.

Varthaman told senior IAF commanders and doctors treating him that he wants to start flying at the earliest, officials told PTI.

Addressing a press conference on Monday, Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa said that his return will depend on his fitness.

“Whether he flies or not depends on his medical fitness. That’s why post ejection, he has undergone medical check. Whatever treatment required, will be given. Once we get his medical fitness, he will get into fighter cockpit.”
Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa

He further added that there is a a lot of pressure that a body is subjected to post ejection. So they have to ensure that Varthaman is physically fit to return.

Varthaman’s health condition is being monitored by a group of doctors at the Army's Research and Referral hospital.

(With inputs from PTI)

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