After he realised that he had landed on the wrong side of the Line of Control (LoC), Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman fired in the air to run away from locals before being taken captive by the Pakistani military Wednesday, said a report.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) officer, who landed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in pursuit of an intruding Pakistani jet, even tried to swallow and destroy the documents he had with him.
On Thursday, Pakistan’s news daily Dawn reported a vivid account of his capture, which clearly showed that the officer did everything according to standing instructions in case of capture.
In the video of his questioning released by the Pakistan military Wednesday, Varthaman is clearly seen refusing to answer questions on what aircraft he flew or his residential details.
‘India or Pakistan?’
The report in the Pakistani daily said it was the local youth who first reached him before the army personnel.
The pilot, who was equipped with a pistol, asked the youngsters whether it was India or Pakistan.
“On this, one of them intelligently responded that it was India. The pilot, later identified as Wing Commander Abhi Nandan, shouted some slogans and asked which place exactly it was in India,” the report said.
“To this, the same boy responded that it was Qilla’n. The pilot told them that his ‘back was broken’ and he needed water to drink.”
At this moment, the IAF officer, son of a retired Air Marshal, shouted slogans and the youngsters responded to it by shouting slogans in favour of the Pakistan Army.
“On this, Abhinandan shot a fire in the air while the boys picked up stones in their hands… the Indian pilot ran a distance of half a kilometre in backward direction while pointing his pistol towards the boys who were chasing him,” the report said, adding that he fired in air to scare them off.
Then he jumped into a small pond where he took out some documents and maps from his pockets, some of which he tried to swallow and soaked the others in water, the daily reported.
The boys, one of whom had a gun, asked him to drop his weapon and in the meanwhile one boy shot at his leg, the report said.
“Finally, he came out and said he should not be killed. The boys got hold of him from both arms,” added the report.
Videos taken after his capture show that he was beaten up by the locals and the wounds later seen on his face were a result of this.
Tensions between the two nuclear neighbours have escalated in the last 48 hours with the Indian airstrikes Tuesday and subsequent Pakistani incursion Wednesday.