New Delhi: Abhinandan Varthaman’s 51 squadron will be awarded by the Chief of the Air Staff for their commendable show of grit and valour during the Balakot airstrike. Abhinandan flew a MiG-21 Bison fighter into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Abhinandan was grounded due to ejection from his MiG-21 which was shot down in the aerial conflict with Pakistan Air Force F-16s.
Abhinandan was released by the Pakistan government after pressure was exerted by India and the international community. He was also conferred with the third-highest wartime gallantry award, Vir Chakra on the 73rd Independence day.
Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal’s 601 Signal Unit will also be awarded for their role in Balakot aerial strikes and foiling the aerial by Pakistan in February. The number 9 squadron, whose Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft carried out the Balakot aerial strikes on February 26 during ‘Operation Bandar’ will also be awarded.