Family of a martyr of Mumbai terror attack remembers their only child

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Bangalore, Nov.15 (AN): It's been almost a year to the Mumbai terror attack in which about at least 173 persons, including security men, died and 308 others suffered injuries, but for the families, who lost their beloved ones on duty, it remains a fresh but painful memory.

Even though the memories of the martyrs may fade with time for public and the rest of the world but for the families of securitymen, who laid their lives on duty for the nation, their beloved children's sacrifice remains an unforgettable memory.

One of the National Security Guards (NSG) commandos involved in the security operation during the Mumbai attack was Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan.

Although it's been almost a year to the 26/11 incident, but the pain of losing their beloved son runs deep in Sandeep's family. Everyday is an ordeal for his family members who are still trying to come to terms with the loss of their only son.

He was leading a team of NSG commandos in the Taj operation and was arranging for the evacuation of his men and chased the terrorists to another floor of the huge Taj Mahal hotel, continuously engaging them in battle.

Isolated from the rest of his team he eventually fell to the bullets of the terrorists. Seriously hurt, he succumbed to his injuries.

Sandeep, 31, fell to multiple bullet injuries on November 28, 2008.

"To lose a person like that, it is... we are laughing, we are eating, we are doing the routine every time, but to the core, we are not living. I cannot guarantee that next year we will be here or maybe for ten years we will live. I don't know. See the very force inside, instinct for living is again Sandeep. We would have gone with him, but...," said Sandeep's father K. Unnikrishnan, a retired official of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Indian commandos completed operations on November 29, 2008 to dislodge terrorists at Mumbai's Taj Mahal hotel, brining an end to the three days of attack.

Sandeep was commissioned in the Bihar 7th Regiment of the Indian Army in 1999. He was deputed to the NSG in 2007.

According to his parents, nothing has changed in the past one year since Sandeep sacrificed his life for the nation.

"It is as good as 29/11 when we buried him, burnt him. Nothing has changed. As far as I'm concerned, nothing has changed in India. And we've changed quite a lot. We learnt so many things in last one year. How people react somewhere. For about a month we were not able to walk out. We were not able to step out and then people were coming and falling at our feet. And after that it is the same thing. Now, the people, those who are giving us support, are giving us support and at least a few people on the street, they recognise me and they give us some kind of solace," said Unnikrishnan.

The attack in Mumbai was one of the biggest terror attacks in the history of the country, where a group of men armed with assault rifles and grenades-at least some of whom arrived by sea-had fanned out across Mumbai on November 26, 2008 night to attack sites popular with tourists and businessmen, including the city's top two luxury hotels. By Shweta (ANI)

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