A Martyr who saved many Souls during the Terrorist attack on the Taj Hotel, Mumbai on 26th November 2008. The Hotel was under siege by blood thirsty terrorists who had gunned down innocent guests and had taken shifting positions on top floors, very hard to locate in the labyrinth of the Hotel rooms. Rescue ops were complicated further by the smoke, flames, blackout and debris of the Terrorist attack. From a position of vantage, the terrorists fired relentlessly.
Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, AC (15 March 1977 – 28 November 2008) led his men from the front. He was an officer in the Indian Army serving in the elite 51 Special Action Group of the National Security Guards, a Special Force of Commandoes. The National Security Guard (NSG) is an elite counter-terrorism unit of India under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
On the Fateful day of 26/11, he cleared many Hotel rooms, rescuing many Souls, bringing them to safety. Needless to say, each of the hundreds of rooms he cleared, could have a Terrorist hiding.
When his colleague was hit by a bullet, he rushed to drag him to safety and went after the terrorists himself, not willing to risk the lives of his fellow men. He said, "Don't come after me, I will handle them."
In a firefight that ensued, he was martyred. Fueled by his Sacrifice, the NSG Commandoes burnt and neutralized the Terrorists holed up in obscure Hotel floors.
Many, who were rescued, remember his ‘Angelic face’ and will not forget his selfless act of giving up his own food and water provisions to them.
Many of them will not forget his kind shoulders on which they leaned, nervous and exhausted as he brought them them to safety from the burning hotel floors and Terrorist fire.
He was Awarded with the Ashok Chakra, India’s highest gallantry award in peace time. He was an instructor grade Ghatak Commando and exhibited valor in the Kargil War.
Read more about Maj Unnikrishnan here.