What Protocols India Has to Follow After Abhinandan’s Return | Doonited.India

May 26, 2019

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What Protocols India Has to Follow After Abhinandan’s Return

What Protocols India Has to Follow After Abhinandan’s Return
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Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was handed over to the Indian authorities by Pakistan on Friday, 1 March, after being held captive for more than two days.

He will now be taken for a detailed medical check-up which is mandatory as the pilot had to eject from an aircraft, that would have affected his body, Air Vice Marshal RGK Kapoor told the media after Wing Commander Abhinandan was handed over at the Wagah border.

Varthaman was held captive by Pakistan after his MIG-21 Bison took a hit while intercepting Pakistani F-16 aircraft.

A grand welcome from the whole country awaits Wing Commander Abhinandan. However, after he is back India has to follow a number of protocols and procedures before he can return to normal life.

A FirstPost report says that once Abhinandan reaches Indian shores, he will be sent for a medical examination.

Apart from that, an Indian Air Force committee will try to reconstruct the events of the crash to get to the bottom of the issue. The FirstPost reports says that this will allow the forces to gauge Pakistan’s preparedness.

CNN News18, citing Retired Lt General HS Panag, said that upon return, the PoW is first disarmed and then interrogated in order to acquire ‘whatever information can be acquired from him’.

According to the News18 report, following is the set of procedures Wing Commander Abhinandan will go through after his return:

  1. Abhinandan will be directly taken to Indian Air Force Intelligence Unit as soon as he arrives.
  2. He will be made to take several medical tests to gauge his fitness levels. It is being reported that he might be delegated to a desk job if he fails the fitness test.
  3. Scans will be conducted to check if he has been bugged by the Pakistani army.
  4. The pilot will undergo psychological tests too. This will pertain to if he has been tortured by the Pakistan Army in order to extract information.
  5. The News18 report also talked about the possibility of Abhinandan being interrogated by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW). However, the FirstPost report said that the Ministry of External Affairs might also question Abhinandan. This is not exactly a protocol but may apply in this case.

The Quint talked to Senior Defence Expert Manoj Joshi, who confirmed that a prisoner of war goes through these procedures:

  • He will be debriefed to see if he revealed anything important to Pakistan
  • He might also be questioned by the Intelligence agencies, as in the old days, there used to be an assessment of a possibility of a brainwash
  • A bug scan will also be done. However, Joshi tells us that chances of that happening depend largely on if at any given moment, he was unconscious under Pakistan custody.
  • A fitness test will be conducted.

The FirstPost report quoted Colonel Vivek Chadha of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), saying that the procedure could take anywhere between a day to one week.

Chadha also told FirstPost that the debriefing will also establish if there was any documentation on the pilot that has now in the hands of the Pakistani forces. After reports of Abhinandan chewing a piece of paper after he landed had also surfaced, Chadha told FirstPost that the armed forces are trained to destroy all equipment/evidence when they fall into the hands of the enemy.

That paper could have been a map of the pilot’s own area, which is among one of the first things to be destroyed.

Retired General VK Chaturvedi also told FirstPost that during the debriefing, Abhinandan will also be asked if he overheard conversations while in custody.

Since Abhinandan is a serving officer, he will then be sent back to work as soon as the debriefing is done.

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Post source : News18/FirstPost

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