Courtesy Indian Express and Wikipedia
Swatee Kher : Mumbai, Sun Nov 30 2008, 02:34 hrs
NSG commando Rajveer Singh owes his life to Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who died in the Mumbai terror attack. Part of the NSG team sent to Mumbai on November 27 to conduct rescue operations and tackle the terrorist attack, Singh, 33, was injured in the firing on the fourth floor of the hotel. He is now recuperating from two bullet injuries on his feet and arm.
Fourteen NSG commandos entered Taj Mahal Hotel after receiving information that three terrorists were holed up in the luxury hotel. Working in small teams, they entered the through the roof. Having covered the sixth and fifth floors, they were heading towards the fourth floor when they received information that the three suspected terrorists, dressed in red, blue and green T-shirts, were in room number 471.
“We used the master key to open the door and asked if there were people inside. We asked them to surrender, but when the door was opened, there was a man dressed in red who stared at me and refused to co-operate,” recalled Singh. Describing the man as a 30-35-year-old wearing a red shirt with white lining, Singh said he looked around and fumbled for a firearm. Before there could be any communication, another person dressed in a blue shirt came from the bedroom and fired.
“Immediately, I fired as well and ducked. Sandeep was covering me as the firing continued. The terrorists were overpowered. Sandeep, however, was killed in the firing,” said Singh. Another commando, Sunil—who was standing at the opposite end of the corridor—was injured as gunfire from room number 471, whose door was open, hit him on the shoulder. He is stable now.
The rest of the team then moved to room number 425 on hearing activity there. “As we fixed a cracker on the door to explode it, I suffered burn injuries and lost consciousness,” Singh remembered.
I have a special fondness for NSG cadres. My company commander Brig Naicker ( signals) and my YO instructor Late Major Biman Saha were close friends and advisers. I have admired their ethos, their discipline and their guts. I have heard first hand from both about Operation Black Thunder II in Punjab where they succeeded and overwhelmed the terrorists, for which Major( at that time) Naicker won the Presidents Police medal (The highest award for gallantry from the Home Ministry as the NSG comes under the Home Ministry)
Bravo NSG !!
Bravo Sandeep ! May his soul RIP !