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‘Good to be back’: IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman on Indian soil after 58 hours in Pak Army custody

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Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman returned to India on Friday night, two days after he was captured in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, potentially capping for now a week of heightened tension that threatened to snowball into a wider military conflict between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

Varthaman, dressed in civilian attire, crossed the border at Wagah a little before 9pm and walked across to the Indian side where hundreds of people had gathered since the afternoon to greet him on his return. He was captured on Wednesday after his MiG-21 aircraft was downed in a dogfight over the Line of Control in Kashmir. “Wing Commander Abhinandan has just been handed over to us. He will be taken now for a detailed medical checkup. This checkup is mandatory as he had to eject from an airplane which would have put his entire body under stress,” said Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor in a brief statement to reporters before a fleet of vehicles left the border crossing for Amritsar, from where Varthaman was set to be flown to New Delhi.

The release of the 38-year-old Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot was announced by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday in a “gesture of peace”.

This was seen as the first sign of a de-escalation after Islamabad retaliated on Wednesday to an Indian “non-military preemptive action” against a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp deep inside Pakistan.

Varthaman had been expected to be repatriated by evening, but his release was delayed by the Pakistani side, which did not offer an explanation, according to Indian officials.

“We had hoped he would have been handed over sooner but it was delayed for some reason by the Pakistanis. At this point, we are happy to have him back,” Amritsar district collector Shivdular Singh Dhillon said.He added that Varthaman said “it is good to be back in my country” when he stepped onto Indian soil.

His release coincided with a heavily edited propaganda video that was released to Pakistani TV channels. The video showed the Wing Commander making certain comments, the circumstances of which were not immediately clear. Social media users criticised Pakistan for the video, with some saying it cast doubt over Pakistan’s claims of the release being a peace gesture.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the IAF pilot’s return. “Welcome Home Wing Commander Abhinandan! The nation is proud of your exemplary courage. Our armed forces are an inspiration for 130 crore Indians. Vande Mataram!” he wrote in a tweet.

Opposition leader and Congress president Rahul Gandhi, too, welcomed Varthaman. “Wing Cdr. Abhinandan, your dignity, poise and bravery made us all proud. Welcome back and much love,” he said in a tweet, his first since Wednesday when he had last tweeted about the IAF pilot’s capture.

According to defence officials who asked not to be named, the Wing Commander was set to be flown to the Palam airbase near New Delhi in a special flight and then likely to be taken to the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital for a thorough medical examination. If his condition permits, he will then proceed to a debriefing session with senior air force officials. In between, he will get a chance to meet his family, who had earlier on Friday flown from their hometown, Chennai, to the national capital.

IAF jets on Tuesday bombed a training camp run by JeM, 12 days after the outfit claimed responsibility for a car bombing that killed 40 troopers in Kashmir’s Pulwama. On Wednesday, a fleet of Pakistani combat aircraft entered Indian territory and dropped explosives before being engaged by Indian fighter jets, including the MiG-21 flown by Wing Commander Varthaman.

According to officials who asked not to be named, the Wing Commander engaged an F-16 of the Pakistani Air Force (a jet far superior to his) and shot it down before being downed by Pakistani firing. He was captured in PoK after ejecting from his aircraft.

Shortly after Khan’s announcement of the pilot’s release on Thursday, top generals of the Indian military issued new details of the Pakistani operation on Wednesday, saying they had evidence that the targets were military installations in Kashmir. Indian and Pakistani forces are in a state of alert and both have warned of a strong retaliation if the other launches any operation. World powers have urged both to exercise restraint.

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4 arrested for sexual assault of spa employee

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Image: Pexels.com

Delhi Police captured four individuals after a worker of a spa center in Delhi’s Pitampura claimed she was molested and sexually exploited by its manager and a client.

A 22-year-old woman complained of rape in a spa center at Delhi’s Pitampura on Thursday.

Authorities from Maurya Enclave police station hurried to the spot and started the examination.

“On August 4, a PCR call was gotten at PS Maurya Enclave in regards to rape with a lady at a Spa Center, Pitampura Delhi. The police promptly arrived at the spot (the ocean spa center) where a victim aged 22 years along with her husband were present external the spa center and complained in regards to rape on her by the manager of the spa center and client,” said police.

She was sent to the hospital for her clinical assessment. A counselor from DCW visited her.

“She expressed that on June 30 she joined the spa on August 4 at around 6 p.m. one client came there along with the manager Rahul and requested sexual favors. Rahul offered her a soft drink, after drinking it she felt tipsy and both raped her,” said police.

A case under Sections 354A/328/376 D of IPC was registered and both the accused persons were arrested.

Source: ANI

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Gold medalist boxer became a robber in Delhi, arrested with two companions

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A burglary group has been busted in Delhi. A boxer was likewise remembered for this posse, who has additionally won gold decorations in certain contests. This posse of three individuals used to complete stealing from Baba Haridas Nagar of Delhi.

The group had looted a lady’s mobile phone in Baba Haridas Nagar on August 1. when the lady was getting back from work. The lady had let in her protest know that three unidentified individuals who had come on the motorcycle grabbed her mobile phone and took off. The police began the examination of the matter. Some CCTVs were additionally checked and individuals around were likewise addressed.

Then, at that point, on August 4, two individuals wandering in a similar region were gotten by the police. The first gave his name as Ankit (age 19 years) who hails from Jhajjar, Haryana. The other’s name is Shivam Kumar who lives in Sainik Enclave. He is additionally 19 years of age. The third is being told as a minor. The person who is there Ankit is a boxer. During interrogation, a stolen cell phone was also recovered from them.

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Unclaimed Bag, Tiffin Box in Delhi’s Rohini Spark Alarm But Nothing Suspicious Found

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Representational Image | Image Source: PTI

An unclaimed bag was found in Rohini region in delhi on Thursday, sending the security organizations like the special cell and bomb detection team soon to reach the spot and launched an investigation, police said.

After a careful review of the area, nothing suspicious was tracked down.

As per authorities, An unclaimed bag was tracked down in the parking lot close to DC Chowk, Rohini Sector-9.

A bomb identification and removal crew and sniffer canines had looked through the area, but it turned out to be a false alarm.

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