Three years since that dreaded day, K Unnikrishnan, father of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan who was martyred in the Mumbai attack on 26/11, wants to start an orphanage in Sandeep's name to make people aware of his valiant son's life.
Brave: K Unnikrishnan, father of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan who was
martyred in the Mumbai attack on 26/11, wants to plan as many
institutions in his son's name and the values he stood for. File Pic
The retired ISRO officer K Unnikrishnan is ready with his campaign, which he wants to plan in the memory of his courageous son. "So far I haven't done anything, like a memorial, in the remembrance of Sandeep. But, now I am going to start from my native place. I want to get as many institutions and clubs, to create a lasting impression of Sandeep's name and the values he stood for. If possible, we will collect information and documents about him. After all there are many things that Sandeep has left. I want to help and encourage as many people in the name of Sandeep," said K Unnikrishnan, who is currently already helping schools by supplying uniforms and midday meals.
At the same time he also maintains. "You cannot motivate or make a soldier. A soldier is self-made. A soldier's job is not a job but a service. If one has to make money and do a job there are many ways to do it. There are many other ways also to serve the country. Sandeep was a soldier and he did his job well of which I am proud of," said K Unnikrishnan.
"I was in Mumbai (Gateway of India) on Tuesday and on Friday I will visit Taj Mahal hotel to participate in a prayer meet. I will sit there for some time at the place where Sandeep had fallen," added K Unnikrishnan.
After graduating from the National Defence Academy in Pune, Sandeep Unnikrishnan was commissioned as lieutenant to the 7th Battalion of the Bihar Regiment (Infantry) on 12 July 1999.
Major Unnikrishnan was the team commander of 51 SAG troops deployed under Operation Black Tornado at the Taj Mahal Hotel to get rid of terrorists and rescue the hostages. He entered the hotel in a group of 10 commandos and reached the sixth floor through the staircase. As the team descended the stairs, they sensed the terrorists were on the third floor. Major Unnikrishan led his team from the front and engaged the terrorists in a fierce gunfight. He arranged for Commando Sunil Yadav's evacuation and regardless of his 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 shot from the back, seriously injured and succumbed to his injuries. According to NSG officials, the last words Sandeep told his men were: "Do not come up, I will handle them". He was posthumously awarded India's highest peacetime gallantry award, Ashok Chakra, for his supreme valour.