Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman has become a household name across the country ever since he pursued Pakistani fighter jets across the Line of Control and shot down their F-16 fighter, even though he was captured after his plane was hit in the dogfight. Students in Rajasthan will soon be able to learn more about the Wing Commander's bravery.
The Rajasthan education department has proposed that a chapter on the valour of Wing Commander Varthaman be included in school textbooks.
Rajasthan education minister Govind Singh Dotasra told news agency ANI: "The tale of his bravery will motivate students. Abhinandan's saga of bravery beginning from his captivity in Pakistan to his release and return home to India will be included in the chapter in detail."
The minister said the education department will soon decide on which classes will be taught the chapter.
On February 27, 34-year-old Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman piloted a MiG-21 Bison aircraft along with seven other Indian jets to intercept a pack of 24 Pakistani aircraft that were targeting Indian military installations. However, he crossed the Line of Control chasing a Pak F-16 fighter jet where he was captured.
He was released on March 1 -- hours after India demanded his "immediate and safe return". Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan claimed the release was a "gesture of peace".
The confrontation erupted after the February 14 Pulwama attack by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed, in which over 40 soldiers were killed. Pakistan targeted India's military facilities a day after India's air strikes on February 26 targeted a huge Jaish training facility in Pakistan's Balakot, around 80 km from the Line of Control.