Service No : IC-58660

Date of Birth : March 15, 1977

Place of birth : Kozhikode, Kerala

Service : Army

Last Rank : Major

Arm/Regt : The Bihar Regiment

Operation : CI & IS Ops

Awards : Ashok Chakra

Martyrdom : November 28, 2008

Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan AC

Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan was born on  15 March 1977 in Kozhikode, Kerala. Maj Sandeep Unnikrishnan came from a Nair family residing in Bangalore, where they had moved from Cheruvannur, in Kozhikode District of Kerala. The only child of an ISRO officer Shri K. Unnikrishnan and Smt Dhanalakshmi Unnikrishnan, he always nursed the idea of serving in the Armed Forces since his younger days. He spent 14 years at the Frank Anthony Public School in Bangalore before graduating in 1995 in the Science stream. He did well in school activities and excelled in sports events too. He was also a member of the school choir and enjoyed watching movies.


He  joined the National Defence Academy (NDA), Pune, Maharashtra in 1995 and graduated as part of the 94th Course of NDA. His NDA friends remember him as “selfless”, “generous” and “calm and composed”. Subsequently he joined 104 IMA Course at IMA Dehradun and passed out in 1999. He was commissioned as a lieutenant into the 7th Battalion of the Bihar Regiment (Infantry) on 12 July 1999 at the age of 22 years. After joining the operational unit he soon honed his field craft skills and evolved into a tough and committed soldier. As a young Lieutenant, he also participated in "Operation Vijay" in July 1999 and was deployed at the forward posts in the face of heavy artillery firing and small arms fire by Pakistan troops. On the evening of 31 Dec 1999,  he led a team of six soldiers and managed to establish a post 200 meters from the opposing side against heavy opposition and fire.


He got elevated from Lieutenant to Captain on 12 June 2003 and later got promoted to the rank of Major on 13 June 2005.  During the ‘Ghatak Course’ (at the Commando Wing (Infantry School), Belgaum), one of the most challenging courses of the Army, he topped the course, earning an “Instructor Grading” and commendation.  He also attended a course at High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) at Gulmarg and got trained in High Altitude warfare, counter intelligence and survival skills.  After serving the Indian Army in different locations in Siachen, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat and Rajasthan Maj Sandeep Unnikrishnan was selected to join the National Security Guards. On completion of training, he was assigned as the training officer of the 51 Special Action Group (51 SAG) of NSG, in January 2007 and participated in various operations of the NSG. 


Operation Black Tornado: Nov 2008


During Nov 2008, Maj Unnikrishnan was serving with 51 SAG, a special response unit of the NSG trained and equipped for counter-terrorism operations. On the night of 26 November 2008, several iconic buildings in South Mumbai were attacked. One of the buildings where hostages were held was the 100-year-old Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Maj Unnikrishnan was the team commander of 51 Special Action Group (51 SAG) deployed in the operation at the hotel to rescue the hostages. He entered the hotel with a group of 10 commandos and reached the sixth floor through the staircase. As the team descended the stairs, they suspected perpetrators on the third floor. A few women were held as hostages in a room that was locked from the inside.


The team decided to break open the door and when it was done the team faced a barrage of fire from the terrorists. The rounds of fire by the perpetrators hit Commando Sunil Yadav, who was Maj Unnikrishnan’s colleague. Maj Unnikrishnan engaged the perpetrators in a firefight and arranged for Yadav’s evacuation. Later Maj Unnikrishnan gave a chase to the terrorists who had escaped to another floor of the hotel. In the encounter that followed, he was shot in the back which proved fatal. His last words, according to NSG officials were, “Do not come up, I will handle them,”. His exceptional courage and leadership motivated his comrades to eliminate all the terrorists and complete the assigned mission successfully. Maj Sandeep Unnikrishnan was a valiant soldier and gritty officer, who led from the front and laid down his life at the age of 31 years in the line of his duty, following the highest traditions of Indian Army. 


Maj Sandeep Unnikrishnan was given the nation’s highest peacetime gallantry award “Ashok Chakra” for his outstanding courage, unyielding fighting spirit and supreme sacrifice. Maj Sandeep Unnikrishnan is survived by his father Shri K. Unnikrishnan and mother Smt Dhanalakshmi Unnikrishnan.

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  • Deepa g k

    2022 at 10:57 am Reply

    We are very proud of you sir. Your sacrifice is unforgettable.. You are always alive in the dreams of youth.. You are our role model..

    • Surya pratap Singh

      2022 at 5:03 pm

      i wish i could be even 1% like you. thank you so much for all you did for us sir. we are very proud of you sir . Jai hind

  • Meenal Joshi

    2022 at 10:57 am Reply

    India is lucky to have had a son like you. I salute you and your family for the sacrifice.

  • Monish M

    2022 at 10:58 am Reply

    This is a tribute to whosever it is doing something​ for our country and because of whom we are still living in peace.You are still living in our souls

  • Ashwant simha

    2022 at 8:10 pm Reply

    Ashwant VII F New Horizon Gurkul
    Major sandeep is a courageous solider how fought for India and sacrificed his life for India . we should respect every soldier

    • Sonam C

      2022 at 12:40 am

      I’ve only recently learned about you, I was 8 when 26/11 happened. I like to say that I’ve grown a certain level of fondness for you, its almost as if I’m missing something I’ve never had. Your story has a very special place in my heart and I wish there was a way to tell you that you did it and you have everyones love with you ;).

      I hope you are a better place now and may your soul rest in peace

  • Ravi Ranjan

    2022 at 3:04 am Reply

    Kis mitti ke aap bane the sir…who provided you kind of bravo attitude…Bhagat Singh ka naam suna tha…aap wo hi ho…you are my hero now.

  • Ragini Singh

    2022 at 4:00 am Reply

    I will say Thank you to the parents for raising a son who sacrificed his life to serve the nation. We must remember to honor our army as they pay a huge price to keep us safe and free.
    Thank you Sandeep, God sent you for this cause and has reserved a special place for you in his arms.

  • Nikhil Pandey

    2022 at 1:01 am Reply

    No words bas fill kar sakte hi apko sat sat naman ,dhany hi apke parents

  • Indraksha Dnyaneshwar Nagnath

    2022 at 4:21 pm Reply

    The Brave Bucks..!!

  • Pavan kumar kanderi

    2023 at 9:41 am Reply

    Great to hear about your sacrifice to our country sir, inspired of your story.

  • Seshagiri

    2023 at 12:52 pm Reply

    Jai hind

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