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Apr 23, 2014
B'lore: Tearful adieu to brave heart Sandeep
Published Date: 01 Dec, 2008 (5:48 PM)

By Team Mangalorean Bangalore

Bangalore, Nov 29  Bangalore on Saturday bid a tearful farewell to Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, the NSG Commando officer who was killed in the bloodiest counter-offensive at the Taj hotel in Mumbai.

Family members, friends and army personnel besides thousands of ordinary people came out in the streets to pay homage to the martyr who laid down his life during the unprecedented anti-terror operation.

Unnikrishnan was killed while trying to pursue a fleeing terrorist at Taj.  The body of the slain hero was draped with the tricolour. Tears streamed down the cheeks of many as emotional family members and friends broke down while bidding adieu to the brave heart. The funeral was held with full military honours.

"Major Sandeep amar rahe", "Bharat Mata ki Jai", slogans rent the air as hundreds followed the army truck carrying the body of National Security Guard (NSG) commando.
Students in school uniform, young and old and women in hundreds, walked along as the truck wound its way from the residence of the NSG commando in Yelahanka, about 12 km from city, to the crematorium, about four kilometres away.

Dhanalakshmi, mother of 31-year-old Sandeep Unnikrishnan, was inconsolable. She swooned as the Karnataka police band sounded the bugle after a police gun salute marking the beginning of the last journey of her son from their residence to the crematorium. She was given medical aid as relatives consoled her.










The body of Major Unnikrishnan was brought to Bangalore late Friday night from Mumbai and kept at his Yelahanka residence for people to pay their last respects.
" lost my son in Mumbai Friday but we are proud that he has served the country well," the father told reporters Friday night.

Sandeep was born on March 17, 1977 and had his early education at the Frank Anthony Public School near Ulsoor. 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.
"I know this family since 30 years. Major Sandeep was good at heart and a decent guy. Unfortunately we lost him," said, as a family friend of the Unnikrishnans.

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.

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, Ministers, MP Rajeev Chandrashekar, and top police officers paid floral tributes to the soldier.

IANS adds

As thousands chanted "Major Sandeep amar rahe", the body of National Security Guard (NSG) commando Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who was killed in a firefight with terrorists inside the Taj hotel in Mumbai, was consigned to the flames here Saturday.

Only Sandeep's grieving parents and other family members and military personnel were allowed inside the electric crematorium at Hebbal, about 15 km from the city centre, where several thousand people, young and elderly, had gathered for the final farewell to the 31-year-old army officer.

Sandeep's parents, father K. Unnikrishnan and mother Dhanalakshmi, were given the military uniform of the slain officer, their only son who had spoken to them for the last time on Nov 26, a day before he led his team to clear Mumbai's iconic hotel of the terrorists.

K. Unnikrishnan, a retired Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) official, Dhanalakshmi and their relatives broke down as the armymen sounded the last post and the body was moved into the furnace after religious rituals.

Hundreds of people had lined the nearly four-km route to the crematorium from Unnikrishnans' residence at Yelahanka, around 12 km from the city. The body was taken in an open army truck followed by hundreds of mourners.

Earlier, at the residence, students in school uniform, young and elderly men and women in hundreds waited for hours to file past the body draped in white. Most of the mourners bowed in respect while many gave a military salute to the slain officer.

"Major Sandeep amar rahe", "Bharat Mata ki Jai" slogans rent the air at the residence as well as along the route to the crematorium.

Chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, several of his ministers, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary and Lok Sabha member H.N. Ananth Kumar were among those who laid wreaths on the body.

The slain officer's mother Dhanalakshmi was inconsolable. She was reluctant to let go of the body. On her insistence, she was allowed to sit next to the body for a few minutes just before it was taken on the last journey.

She swooned as the Karnataka police band sounded the bugle after a police gun salute, marking the beginning of the march from their residence to the crematorium.

She was given medical aid as relatives consoled her.

The body of Major Unnikrishnan was brought to Bangalore late Friday night from Mumbai and kept at his Yelahanka residence for people to pay their last respects.

Sandeep led his men into Taj Thursday. During the gunbattle he was separated from his men but continued taking on the terrorists, according to NSG Director General J.K. Dutt.

To prevent his colleagues from getting caught in the crossfire, Sandeep told them to keep away. He was grievously injured and died Friday.

His parents hail from Kerala but Sandeep was born and brought up in Bangalore.

"I lost my son in Mumbai Friday but we are proud that he has served the country well," the father told reporters Friday night.

Unnikrishnan said Sandeep had called them on Nov 26 to inform that he would be coming home early next month as his friend was getting married on Dec 17.

The March 17, 1977, born Sandeep had his schooling from Frank Anthony Public School in Bangalore. After passing out of the National Defence Academy, he was commissioned in the 7th Battalion of Bihar Regiment in 1999. He was deputed to NSG in January 2007.

A friend of Sandeep, Major Deepu, said: "He was a very enthusiastic person. He has been in Jammu and Kashmir, so he was trained in combat and anti-terrorism operations."

Space scientists pay homage to Mumbai terror victims

Bangalore, Nov 29 (IANS) International space scientists and experts Saturday joined Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman G. Madhavan Nair at a meet here in paying homage to the victims of terror attacks in Mumbai.

"Though this event has been scheduled long before the terror incidents occurred in Mumbai, this is not a very happy occasion to meet. Such tragic things should not happen in any part of the world. Unfortunately, it's happening in India," Nair said at the inaugural meet of 'World Space Biz 2008', an international conference and exhibition on space technology, being held here in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Expressing deep sorrow for the loss of so many innocent lives and those who suffered in the ordeal, Nair said such incidents were a grim reminder of the grave dangers posed by terrorism.

"This incident all the more reinforces our belief that we need to work together to eradicate this evil. We should resolve to fight jointly such evil forces," Nair told about 300 participants, including about 50 delegates from space-faring nations such as the US, France, Germany, Russia, Japan and China.

Paying glowing tributes to the daring police officers and commandos who laid down their lives fighting for the country, Nair said the space community joins the nation in mourning them and expressing grief to their bereaved families in this hour of sorrow.

The three-day event at the Bangalore international exhibition convention complex on the outskirts of the city began on a sedate note, with the conspicuous absence of any minister or state government official due to the seven-day mourning being observed as a mark of respect to former prime minister V.P. Singh who died in New Delhi Thursday.

"It is being held in a sombre mood and at a time when a pall of gloom engulfed the nation in the aftermath of the terror war in Mumbai. May not be an opportune moment to hold such an important event, that too for the first time in India," a leading industry delegate told IANS on request of anonymity.

Space scientists and experts from other countries also expressed condolences to the families of victims and vowed to fight terrorism by working for peace and harmony.

"As travel arrangements to participate in this space event were made in advance, we decided to go ahead with our trip to India though we learnt about the terror attacks en-route," a Russian space expert said.

"By attending this event and making it a success, we want to defeat the designs of such terror elements, which are out to disturb peace and cause death and destruction," said a space scientist from the US.

In spite of the terror attack in Mumbai that has claimed 183 lives, response from the Indian industry and space-faring nations to the event has been positive though low-key.

"Barring a few, there are not many cancellations from participants or invitees. The space industry is smaller compared to other industry sectors. As this event pertains to the business aspect of the space industry, participation is limited," a space agency official noted.

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Vinesh & Fmly. , UAE Dec 10, 2008
Sandeep, you did a splendid job for us, but we lost you.
reena, India Dec 6, 2008
we are proud of mumbai heroes and pray to god that their soul rests in peace.
Vijaya, India Dec 3, 2008
I Salute The great Major Sandeep who has sacrificed his life for our Country.
Anil, India Dec 2, 2008
I feel proud just to say that Major Sandeep was from Bangalore. Heartfelt condolences to the family of this valiant soldier.
kaligraph, India Dec 2, 2008
we are proud of your courage and your humanity, Major Sandeep you are great.
Rohit, India Dec 1, 2008
You will remain in our hearts and soul for ever.. May your soul rest in peace. INDIA is proud of you and the rest who laid down your life for us. Jai hind
M.Jagadish, India Dec 1, 2008
I pray your soul will rest in peace.
Saumya, India Dec 1, 2008
I salute Sandeep who has sacrificed his life for us.
sandhya, India Dec 1, 2008
i salute major sandeep-real hero of india.
Vasant Raj, UAE Dec 1, 2008

Jheelam Chatterjee., India Nov 30, 2008
May god bless your soul & your soul may find peace in abode of God. Wherever you are you will be in our mind forever.
Sampath kumar , India Nov 30, 2008
I salute Major Sandeep. May his soul rest in peace.God bless his family.Bharath Matha ki jai
Dominic, UAE Nov 30, 2008
Heartfelt symphaties to the family and friends of Major Sandeep.... May god give them the strenght to overcome this grave loss... India has lost a brave son and we all sincerely hope that his sacrifice will not go down in vain... I think it is time for India to awaken from itz slumber and avenge the deaths of itz sons and daughters!!!!!!!! Jai Hind
Calvin Noronha, USA Nov 29, 2008
I salute Major Sandeep. May his soul rest in peace. The govt should avenge his death by attacking terror camps soon.

Major Sandeep Singh amar rahe!!!
deepakshetty, UAE Nov 29, 2008
Sere Jahan se acha Hindustan Hamara! We bow in front of YOU our dear Soldiers in Uniform and all the people who have saved innocent lives.
BRRAO, USA Nov 29, 2008
Hats off to the brave police and commandos who did the ultimate sacrifice to diffuse such a great crisis. Why our impotent leaders are not expressing any words of outrage. They have butter in their belly instead of fire and anger.

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