Sunday, November 14, 2010


Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan: On the night of 26 Nov 2008, several iconic buildings in South Mumbai were attacked by terrorists. One of the buildings where the terrorists held people hostage was the 100-year old Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.

Major Unnikrishnan was the team commander of 51 SAG deployed in the operation at the Taj Mahal Hotel to rid the building 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 on the third floor. The terrorists had held a few women as hostages in a room and locked it from the inside. After breaking open the door, the round of fire by the terrorists hit Commando Sunil Yadav, who was Major Unnikrishnan's buddy partner.[13]

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 personal safety, chased the terrorists who, meanwhile, escaped to another floor of the hotel, and while doing so Major Sandeep continuously engaged them.[14] In the encounter that followed, he was shot from the back, seriously injured and succumbed to injuries.

“Do not come up, I will handle them”, were probably the last words which Major Unnikrishnan told his men as he was hit by bullets while engaging well armed terrorists inside the Taj Hotel, Mumbai during Operation Black Tornado.[3]

SI Tukaram Omble: Omble overtook the Skoda and stopped in front of it, forcing the driver of the car to swerve right and hit the divider. With the terrorists momentarily distracted, Omble sprang toward one of them, Ajmal Kasab, and gripped the barrel of the AK47 rifle with both hands. With the barrel pointing towards Omble, Kasab pulled the trigger, hitting Omble in the abdomen. Omble collapsed, but held on to the gun till he lost consciousness, which likely stopped Kasab from shooting others.
The other police, who by that time had killed the other terrorist, Ismail, captured Kasab.

"Kasab started firing from his AK47 as soon as he saw that we were coming to catch him," says Govilkar. Baudankar says that Assistant Sub Inspector Tukaram Omble was hit by the bullets as he was the first to charge towards Kasab armed with just a stick. "All those who were with Omble survived as he stood like a shield," adds Kadam. "When we saw that Omble was not letting go of the terrorist's gun, we knew we could not let his sacrifice go in vain. He held on and we completed his unfinished task," his colleague Sanjay Govilkar said.