Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan: The Story Behind the 26/11 Braveheart
(This story was originally published on 18 November 2016. It is being reposted from The Quint's archives to mark Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s birth anniversary.)
Video Editor: Prashant Bharadwaj
It has been ten years since the deadly Mumbai attacks of 26 November 2008 – a day India remembers our security forces displaying outstanding courage in overcoming the siege at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai.
The elite National Security Guard (NSG) had to be called in to defeat the terrorists on 27 November. Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan lost his life during the attack.
Unnikrishnan led his team of NSG commandos up to the sixth floor of the Taj Hotel and was able to rescue 14 hostages from the clutches of the terrorists.
He died on 28 November 2008, after he succumbed to bullets injuries that he had received while fighting and engaging terrorists during Operation Black Tornado.
The 31-year-old was the only son of a retired ISRO Officer K Unnikrishnan and Dhanalakshmi Unnikrishnan and was inducted into the Army in 1999.
He was given the Ashoka Chakra by the Indian government, which is the highest peace-time gallantry award.
The last message of the courageous officer of the Indian Army to the men carrying out the operation under him was, “Do not come up, I will handle them”.
This has now become a hallmark of his bravery.