‘Heartfelt Abhinandan’, ‘IAF Hero Returns’: How Dailies Covered It

This is what the front pages of Indian newspapers looked like the day after Wing Commander Abhinandan’s return 

Published
India
3 min read
‘Heartfelt Abhinandan’, ‘IAF Hero Returns’: How Dailies Covered It

After nearly three days of prayers and waiting, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman returned to the Indian soil on Friday night, 1 March. For a nation beleaguered by the rising tensions between India and Pakistan, the hope for the pilot’s safe return united people nationally.

Various hashtags praying for his good health and swift return, went viral on social media even as temples organised special poojas and people lauded his courage through poetry.

So, this is how the front pages of a few national dailies looked like the day after his return.

‘A Hero’s Welcome From His Grateful Country’

‘Heartfelt Abhinandan’, ‘IAF Hero Returns’: How Dailies Covered It

The Times of India reported that Abhinandan arrived in India ‘after an agonising day-long wait, via the Wagah-Attari border, after Pakistan rejected India’s request to allow IAF to fly him in a special aircraft.’

Abhinandan had a black eye but walked ramrod straight, betraying no sign of the injuries inflicted by the mob who had pounced on him when he bailed out from his MiG-21 and landed in PoK, read an excerpt.

‘Wave of Relief Across Nation’

‘Heartfelt Abhinandan’, ‘IAF Hero Returns’: How Dailies Covered It
‘The repatriation triggered celebrations across the country where people had waited hours glued to TV sets to watch the return home’ read an excerpt from The Indian Express.

‘Abhinandan Arrives to Hero’s Welcome’

‘Heartfelt Abhinandan’, ‘IAF Hero Returns’: How Dailies Covered It
Amid tight security, scores of people in a jubilant mood, waving the national flag, were seen gathered on the Indian side of the border at a distance from the Attari Joint Check Post to give a hero’s welcome to the IAF pilot, read an excerpt from The Hindu’s report.

‘Handover by Pak Delayed; Suspense for Hours’

‘Heartfelt Abhinandan’, ‘IAF Hero Returns’: How Dailies Covered It
Hoping to give a hero’s welcome to Wg Cdr Varthaman, thousands of Indians had gathered on the border carrying the tricolour and garlands since the morning but as the day wore on and night fell, there was no sign of the pilot. He finally emerged at 9:10 pm India time, reported The Asian Age.

‘Good to be back’

‘Heartfelt Abhinandan’, ‘IAF Hero Returns’: How Dailies Covered It
Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman returned to India on Friday night, two days after he was captured in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, potentially capping for now a week of heightened tension that threatened to snowball into a wider military conflict between the two nuclear-armed neighbours, reported Hindustan Times.

‘IAF Hero Returns Home’

‘Heartfelt Abhinandan’, ‘IAF Hero Returns’: How Dailies Covered It
Captured IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman walked to freedom as he crossed into Indian territory through the Wagha-Attari border in Punjab late this evening after he was released by Pakistan. For hundreds of people, who had gathered to see the brave officer walk to freedom, celebrations started since morning, reported Deccan Herald.

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