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Indian cricket fraternity welcomes back Abhinandan Varthaman

And as soon as he crossed the border to enter India, the entire nation welcomed him.

Abhinandan Varthaman
Abhinandan Varthaman. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India, on Friday, celebrated the return of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman from Pakistan. People came out in large numbers, waving the tri-colour near the Wagah Border as the whole nation waited desperately for his safe and swift return from across the border. He was captured by Pakistani authorities on February 27 after an air combat between the air forces of the two countries in the wake of the Pulwama attack.

Varthaman had fallen on the wrong side of the border during the operation, But before he ejected from his MiG-21, hit in the aerial dogfight over the skies of Jammu, he had shot down an F-16 fighter. Upon landing, he was thrashed, chased down by locals on hostile territory. Things could have gone worse before the Pakistani army officials intervened and took him away to custody, blindfolded.

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Abhinandan’s injuries were clear in videos that surfaced soon after his capture. But despite being in such a delicate situation, the Air Force officer never lost his composure and politely refused to share more information than he could. Abhinandan put up a stoic face amid all adversity and refused to divulge any information about the Indian forces, much to the delight of the nation. Later, a video showed Abhinandan was being treated well.

With India fearing for the worst after seeing their brave son in Pakistani custody, Honourable Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan gave the entire nation a sigh of relief that Abhinandan would be sent to India on Friday.  Unsurprisingly, everyone was excited to see the brave-heart setting his foot in India and the moment finally arrived around 9 pm on Friday.

Suited and booted with his head held high and flanked by Pakistani rangers, a diplomat and an IAF attache, Abhinandan slowly walked towards the gates of the Wagah border. And as soon as he crossed the border to enter India, the entire nation welcomed him. Politicians, Bollywood celebrities, cricketers and high-profile names from other sectors too took to social media to welcome Abhinandan.

Here are some tweets from the Indian cricketers who were quick to pay their tribute to Abhinandan Varthaman and welcome him.

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