NEW DELHI: Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was subjected to severe 'mental harassment' during captivity in Pakistan, reported news agency ANI quoting sources.
The Wing Commander informed that "though he was not physically tortured by the Pakistanis, he went through a lot of mental harassment," says the source.
After spending 59-hours in Pakistan captivity, Varthaman was handed over to Indian authorities on Friday night. Pakistan Army took him hostage on Wednesday when his parachute drifted and fell inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met the 35-year-old IAF pilot Saturday at a military hospital where he's currently recovering and undergoing a medical examination.
Sitharaman is said to have inquired about his health and the sequence of events that led to his landing and subsequent capture in Pakistan.
On Wednesday, Abhinandan, flying the MiG 21 Bison, was chasing Pakistani F-16 fighters which had transgressed into the Indian airspace, and in the process, his plane crossed over to the Pakistani side and was shot down.
Abhinandan ejected safely but was taken into custody by the Pakistan Army upon landing.