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On 26/11, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s Father Remembers Him

Even after years of the 26/11 attacks, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s parents are on a campaign to honour his legacy.

Updated
India
2 min read

(This story was first published on 26 November 2017 and is being reposted from The Quint’s archives to mark 13 years since the attacks.)

(This story is from The Quint’s archives and was first published on 26 November 2017. It is being republished to mark the 12th anniversary of the attacks.)

“I would always like to be known as Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s father, not as Unnikrishnan, a government servant. Sometimes, I feel I have not done enough for him as a father. I should have guided him better and taught him the nuances of being selfish sometimes,” said K Unnikrishnan.

26/11 will always be recounted for the valour of the security forces in overcoming the siege at the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai. A heavy price was attached to the National Security Guard (NSG) commandos who were called to fight the terrorists – the loss of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s life.

It has been ten years since the death of Sandeep, but his father is on a mission to honour his son’s legacy. “I could not believe that my son was shot dead. I thought it was a small operation and it would be over in no time,” he said.
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Sandeep Unnikrishnan was given the Ashoka Chakra by the Indian government,  the highest peace-time gallantry award.
Sandeep Unnikrishnan was given the Ashoka Chakra by the Indian government, the highest peace-time gallantry award.
(Photo Courtesy: SSBcrack)

Sandeep had led his team of commandos to the sixth floor of the hotel and successfully rescued 14 hostages. Sandeep’s father is still in touch with the last hostage his son had saved.

The last message of the braveheart to the men carrying out the operation was “Don’t come up, I will handle them.” His words have left an indelible impression on his commandos.

The 31-year-old was the only son of the retired ISRO officer K Unnikrishnan and Dhanalakshmi Unnikrishnan. His parents are not after sympathy, but rather, mere recognition of their son’s bravery and sacrifice.

A good memorial should be in the minds of people. I am fortunate enough that there are thousands of people who are concerned about martyrs, especially Sandeep.
K Unnikrishnan, Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s father

Multimedia Producer: Puneet Bhatia

Assistant Producer: Vivek Das

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