Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be awarded the Vir Chakra medal on Independence Day, a report by news agency ANI said. Wing Commander Varthaman emerged a national hero after he shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter jet on February 27. Though he was captured by Pakistani forces later returned to India on March 1. The fight between Pakistan and India took place a day after Indian Air Force jets bombed terror camps in Pakistan's Balakot after 40 soldiers were killed in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama by a suicide bomber of the Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Abhinandan Varthaman, 36, is likely to rejoin flying duties after clearing medical tests. He had suffered injuries after ejecting from his damaged plane and parachuting to safety. The pilot went through a series of physical and mental evaluations since his capture and release.