New Delhi: The Indian Air Force recommended Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman for the wartime gallantry medal Vir Chakra for shooting down an F-16 in aerial conflict with Pakistan.
Apart from Wing Commander Abhinandan for Vir Chakra, the IAF is recommending 12 Mirage 2000 pilots who bombed targets in Pakistan for the Vayu Sena Medal for gallantry, government sources said.
The Vir Chakra is the third highest gallantry award in the military during the times of war after the Param Vir Chakra and the Mahavir Chakra.
Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force has transferred Abhinandan out of the Srinagar airbase amid concerns over his security in Kashmir valley. He has been posted to an important airbase in the Western sector along the Pakistan border, sources said.
Notably, Abhinandan was captured by the Pakistani Armed Forces after his MiG 21 Bison fighter jet was shot down during a dogfight during an aerial action with Pakistani jets.