1 IAF pilot missing in action: MEA


The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday confirmed that an Indian Air Force (IAF) has gone missing in action. MEA spokesperson Ravish Kumar also said that Pakistan has claimed that that the missing pilot is in their custody and that they are ascertaining the facts.

“India had informed about counter terrorism (CT) action it took yesterday (Tuesday) against a training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pakistan based on credible evidence that JeM intended to launch more attacks. Against this Counter Terrorism Action, Pakistan has responded this morning by using its Air Force to target military installations on the Indian side. Due to our high state of readiness and alertness, Pakistan’s attempts were foiled successfully,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said while briefing the media.

“The Pakistan Air Force was detected and the Indian Air Force responded instantly. In that aerial engagement, one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG 21 Bison of the Indian Air Force. The Pakistani aircraft was seen by ground forces falling from the sky on the Pakistan side. In this engagement, we have unfortunately lost one MiG 21. The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has claimed that he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts,” he added.

However, there are claims doing rounds on social media that Pakistan has two Indian pilots in custody. As per social media, the captured IAF pilot is Abhinandan Varthaman, a MiG 21 Bison pilot.

Journalist Manu Pubby quoted Pakistan’s claims of having two Indian pilots in custody.

“BIG: Pak shows documents from the two pilots it said it has arrested after their fighter jet was shot down in PoK,” he tweeted.

“BIG: One Indian pilot is injured and in hospital, second is under custody – Pakistan claims,” read his other tweet.

In another tweet, Pubby wrote, “Pakistan officially claims it has two Indian pilots in custody. Pak media circulates video of one of them, seen identifying himself as Wing Commander Abhinandan.”

A video is also doing rounds on social media, in which one of the pilots can be seen identifying himself as Wing Commander Abhinandan.

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