35-year-old Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, the IAF combat pilot who took down a Pakistani F-16, and did the unthinkable using a MiG-21 to achieve this feat, had been in the news all of last week for his show of valour and selflessness, when it came to performing his duty with the utmost bravery, and maintaining his cool during his captivity.
Abhinandan was captured by the Pakistan Army after he crash-landed across the LoC post an aerial dogfight with his Pakistani counterparts who had infiltrated the Indian airspace early morning on 27th February, in retaliation to India's airstrike on terror camps in Pakistan and PoK on 26th February.
Abhinandan became international news when the entire world took notice of the combat pilot's show of courage and calm under during his interrogation, inspiring respect from people around the world.
Having spent over 58 hours in Pakistani captivity, Abhinandan was finally released by the Pakistani government late evening on 1st March in keeping with the diktats of the Geneva Convention for Prisoners of War.
The entire nation joined in the celebrations to welcome Abhinandan back, and now, the Akhil Bharatiya Digambar Jain Mahasamiti has declared that the Wing Commander shall be the first recipient of the 'Bhagwan Mahavir Ahimsa Puraskar' instituted by the organisation.
The announcement regarding the award for Abhinandan was announced in New Delhi by Manidra Jain, whereas the Maharashtra chapter convener Paras Lohade stated that the award. carrying a cash prize of Rs 2.51 lakh, a memento and a citation, will be presented to Abhinandan on Mahavir Jayanti, which will be celebrated on April 17th this year.