New Delhi: It may have been after midnight when the Chennai-Delhi flight stopped on the runway but there was no difficulty in removing the bags from the overhead bin or running to the exit because all eyes were focused on one pair: the parents of the IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman.
Air Marshal (retd) S. Varthaman and Dr. Shobha Varthaman received a standing ovation when passengers gave way at dawn on Friday, making sure the couple left first.
Abhinandan, who was captured by Pakistan on Wednesday, is expected to be released on Friday.
In the photos and videos shared by passengers on social media platforms, you can see the couple, who came to Delhi on their way to Amritsar to take their son home, recognizing the applause, cheers and thanks with a gesture of the head.
The plane landed at the Delhi airport approximately one hour after midnight.
The couple left for Amritsar shortly after landing in Delhi. Everyone is ready to receive their son most likely at the Wagah border.
The wing commander Abhinandan was captured by Pakistan’s army after his fighter plane crashed in an air duel with a Pakistani F-16. He demolished the plane before he dropped his, forcing him to eject. It fell in Pakistani territory.
On Thursday, Khan announced he would be released, indicating a decrease in tensions between India and Pakistan.
The Abhinandan family has served in the Indian Air Force for generations, since World War II.
Air Marshal S. Varthaman, who received several honors, including a Param Vishisht Seva medal, said in a message: “Abhi is alive, he is not hurt, he sounds in mind, just look at the way he spoke so bravely … A true soldier … We are very proud of him. “