Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by Pakistan last month and returned to India two days later, has gone back to his squadron in Srinagar though he is on a four-week sick leave, official sources said Tuesday.
They said Varthaman preferred to stay with his squadron in Srinagar than going to his family home in Chennai while on leave.
The IAF pilot went on leave around 12 days ago after security agencies completed a nearly two-week debriefing after his return from Pakistan.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman could have gone to his family home in Chennai to spend time with his parents. But he chose to go to Srinagar where his squadron is based," the sources said.
After his four-week sick leave period, a medical board will review his fitness to help the IAF top brass decide whether he can return to fighter cockpit as desired by him.
He was captured by the Pakistani Army on February 27 after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistani jets during an aerial combat. He downed an F-16 fighter of Pakistan before his plane was hit.
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was released on the night of March 1 by Pakistan.
After he was captured, Varthaman showed courage and grace in handling the most difficult circumstances for which he was praised by politicians, strategic affairs experts, ex-servicemen, celebrities and people in general.
While Pakistan has been brazenly denying using the F-16 fighter aircraft by its Air Force in an attempt to attack India's military bases in J&K's Nowshera on February 27, which was successfully retaliated by Indian Air Force, Republic TV on Thursday accessed exclusive details of the IAF debriefing of Wing Commander Abhinandan which confirms that Pak officers asked questions about the F-16 plane to the IAF pilot.
Wing Commander Abhinandan returned from Pakistan to India on March 1, two days after accomplishing an extraordinary feat in the skies above Lam Valley in J&K's Nowshera.
Inside sources have revealed that during the debriefing by IAF team, Wing Commander Abhinandan stated that a senior Pak AF officer took details of his manoeuvres that led to the downing of the F-16 fighter plane - which seemingly confirms that Pakistan has been lying that its Air Force did not use the F-16 during the attack on India.
Wing Commander Abhinandan was reportedly asked how he managed to bring down the F-16 fighter plane by the Pakistan Air Force officer while he was in their custody for two days, even as till date the Pak authorities have been in denial over its use.