The fighter pilot is from the southern city of Chennai and has 16 years of experience (formerly known as Madras). When Abhinandan’s plane was down in “retaliation” for India launching air attacks on its territory, according to Islamabad.
His arrest was seen as a significant defeat for India. The government requested his quick release, and messages about him flooded Indian social media, with many hailing him as a hero and wishing for his safe return.
In what Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan called as a “peace gesture,” he was returned to loud rejoicing two days later. The dramatic events of his arrest in Pakistan have now been disclosed.
“I recognised him when I spotted the Indian flag on his parachute. I also watched his aircraft being struck and him floating down “Mohammad Razzaq Chaudhry, a resident of Pakistan’s-administered Kashmir who witnessed the jet’s downing on Wednesday, said BBC’s Ilyas Khan.
Locals rushed to the dead pilot, he said, and he was “afraid” they might hurt him. Mr Chaudhry added that some of the guys were enraged and assaulted the pilot while others attempted to stop them. “I told them not to hurt him, that they should leave him alone until the soldiers arrived.”
When Abdul Rahman spotted the parachute, he grabbed a jug of water and swiftly ascended the slope.
“At first, it seemed like the parachute would land on this tree.” When ascending the hill, Abdul Rahman pointed to the tree. The pilot then expertly turned it around and landed safely on the level plain above the hill.
According to Abdul Rahman, as the parachute came down extremely low, the Indian flag tied to its line told him that the pilot was Indian, and he subsequently learnt that his name was Abhinandan.
Abhinandan saw me and walked down a few paces. He had a gun in his hand and asked me whether I was in India or Pakistan.
According to Abdul Rahman, I said India. He inquired as to which place. Fort, I said.
Abhinandan collapsed in a little tunnel constructed into the hill upon hearing this. He lifted both hands and yelled Jai Hind while holding his weapon on his stomach.
then he said, ‘My back is broken, give me water.’
At this time, Abhinandan felt that he had landed in a hamlet in India, but soon other inhabitants of Horan had also gathered at the foot of the hill, some of whom yelled ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ and ‘Pak Fuj Zindabad’. Slogans were raised.
Thus, Abhinandan came to know that he was not in India but in Pakistan. According to Abd al-Rahman, ‘They immediately became alert. He unbuttoned the bottom pocket of his pants and took out a small piece of paper with one hand and made a small amulet of it and swallowed it. Meanwhile, Abhinandan kept pointing the pistol towards me. Then another paper was taken out which was bigger. They cut it into small pieces and then quickly ran down the hill.
65-year-old Abdul Rehman says that during this time, his heart repeatedly wanted to jump on Abhinandan and control him, but because of the pistol in his hand, he refrained from his intention. When he ran downhill, Abdur Rahman and other villagers chased Abhinandan and ‘some people even threw stones at him to stop him’.