Chennai: While the whole nation is tweeting with concern #SaveAbhinandan and #BringBackAbhinandan, his neighbourhood is all the more worried about the safety of the IAF pilot captured by Pakistan and is praying for his return.
As soon as news surfaced that Abhinandhan was trained in Tambaram Airforce station and is a resident of the locality, people tried to identify his residence. To avoid unnecessary commotion and to give some personal space for the family, the gated community in which Abhi’s family resides at Madambakkam was closed for access to outsiders.
But, this did not stop local residents from gathering there in large numbers and conveying their solidarity to Abhinandan’s parents.
“We are proud and at the same time pained to know that Abhi is from our locality. He has become an inspiration for us. The way in which Abhi responded to questions even after coming to know that he has been captured by enemy soldiers is commendable (a video clip of this has gone viral). The confidence and bravery with which he said “Sorry sir, I am not supposed to tell you this’ to questions asked by the Pakistan defence personnel still rings in my ears and gives me goosebumps,” said Arjun, a resident.
Prayers were held in several places of worship in the neighbourhood for the safe return of Abhinandhan. “We were worried about his well being, until a video him having tea and saying that he was treated well was released. We are hoping that he returns back home safe,” said Suresh, another resident.
A resident who lives in the gated community, on the condition of anonymity, said Abhinandhan’s parents are strong and confident of his return.
“I did not get opportunity to interact with Abhi but I had seen him visiting his parents during ” the resident added.
The resident also said they are planning to hold prayers for Abhi’s safe return. Chennai City Police Commissioner A K Viswanathan visited Abhi’s residence and met his father. He also discussed about the security arrangements in place. Sriperumbudur M P K N Ramachandran,
Tambaram MLA S R Raja and BJP State president Tamilisai Soundararajan, DMDK treasurer Premalatha Vijayakanth met Abhinandhan’s parents in their residence. MNM founder Kamal Haasan reached Abhi’s father over the phone and extended his support.