Being in the forefront of the National Security Guards operations at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan not only waged a valiant battle against the terrorists but also did his best to save his injured colleagues and in the bargain lost his life. He showed the real warrior in him before laying down his life.
Thirty-one-year-old Major Sandeep is the only son of retired ISRO officer K. Unnikrishnan, who is settled in Bangalore.
His father told presspersons: “I lost my son in Mumbai on Friday. Though I do not like to call him a martyr, I can proudly say that he has done something for this country.” He was informed of the death of his son by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (National Security Guards).
According to information reaching the family, “Major Sandeep was leading a team and during the operations two of his colleagues sustained bullet injuries. In a bid to save them Sandeep turned back. The bullets fired by the terrorists pierced him. On November 26, he had called us and said that one of his childhood friends is getting married in the city on December 17. He had planned to attend that marriage,” Mr. Unnikrishnan said.
Major Sandeep was ambitious, talented and a brave soul, said his friends and neighbours. He joined the National Defence Academy and was commissioned in the Bihar 7th Regiment in 1999. He was drafted to the NSG after his gallantry was recognised,” Kiran Srivasthav, a childhood friend of Major Sandeep.
According to Anirudh Uppal, Inspector-General (Headquarters) National Security Guards (NSG), Major Sandeep had exposure to counter insurgency operations after having served in Jammu and Kashmir for two terms. He was deputed to the NSG on January 20, 2007 and participated in various operations conducted by the elite force.
The gallant officer of the team commander of 51 SAG was deployed to clear Hotel Taj Mahal of extremists on November 27. He led the team from the front and engaged the terrorists in a fierce gunfight. When one of the NSG commandos was injured in the exchange of fire, he arranged for his evacuation and regardless of personal safety chased the terrorists who, meanwhile, escaped to another floor of the hotel, and while doing so Major Sandeep continuously engaged them. In the encounter that followed, he was seriously injured and succumbed to injuries.
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