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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  • T M RAmya

    2022 at 10:34 am Reply

    This fateful incident that took one of our heroes, happened more than 10 years ago but I can still remember it so vividly. And today when I got to know there is a place where I can connect with the family of our Matryed Armed Forces, the first name I searched for was that of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan. I was a kid back then , looking at the live telecast of the firings ,smoke and the ruckus created during the Taj attack . And when the next day I saw Sandeep Sir photo , It just stuck in my head to this day. I could so clearly remember his face I saw on tv 10 years ago and how I bad I felt not even knowing the person personally but moarning as if it was a personal Loss.

    Maybe because I belong to Kerala too.. Or Maybe the calm face or the kind of courage that he had shown on the field..

    I typed the name in the search box of the site hoping to find the profile and there it was.. That same face… A face I could never forget in a lifetime.

    Accha/Amma – Thank you for giving the country such a brave son. Your sacrifice can be compared with none. I know that Sandeep Sir was your only son but please remember that you have a daughter here , always wishing the best for you.

    Sandeep Sir – I know you are watching from above..We will never forget you or what you have done for the country. You are inspiration to so many young people like me. Your parents must be very proud of you!!!

  • V Narayanan

    2022 at 10:35 am Reply

    it is really very proud to cherish Major Sandeep’s memory. you are big inspiration to lot of young people to serve the country; getting into a tough situation and sacrifice the precious life is beyond comparison.

    your memory would continue to inspire generations to come.

    Slaute to Parents of Maj Sandeep and prayers to almighty that both of you should be showered with sound health and a grateful nation is behind you

  • Abhirami C R

    2022 at 10:38 am Reply

    In reply to Dhwani Janjmera.
    Jai hind sir,
    Your legacy will remain forever
    Salute for your brave heart❤️

  • Athreya AP

    2022 at 10:38 am Reply

    Thank you for protecting us!!
    To the brave soul who lost his life to keep us safe by prioritizing his country first over his family. We salute your spirit & remember your contribution which is priceless. In fact Thank you is a very small word to show my gratitude and respect for all the sacrifice you have made to keep us safe always. We cannot fill your space in your family but we will pray for them everyday. May the Almighty God give your family abundance strength. Heartily warm regards to you and your family for your sacrifice. Often we don’t get to say this directly but I take this opportunity to heartfully say we are very proud & honored. Hats off to all the hardship and dedication. Cost of freedom has always been high. Thank you for bearing this cost and it will not be taken lightly.

  • Mona Aiyar

    2022 at 10:39 am Reply

    While we sat comfortably at home,
    Huddled up, safe and warm,
    You selflessly ventured out,
    To save us from the storm…

    Thanks to your selfless sacrifice,
    Today we are alive and free,
    Our freedom and our honour,
    We owe it all to thee…

    The price you and your loved ones paid, dear hero,
    I cannot ever repay,
    But I promise to ask for God to bless you and your family,
    Every single time I pray!

    Rest in peace, our hero, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan!

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  • Manasi Waghule

    2022 at 10:40 am Reply

    Words are not enough to describe ur sacrifice for our nation..!!
    U will always be remembered by every individual of our country….We salute u
    We assure u that the terrorist will not harm our country…if they do so then our Army’s will give them the answers that they never thought or dreamt of…!!
    I really slaute ur dedication hardwork n excellence…!!
    We will miss u braveheart❤️
    Jai Hind.

  • ATLY T A

    2022 at 10:44 am Reply

    I’m ready to follow your path……… India Army……..BIG SALUTE.

  • Bipin Nair

    2022 at 10:44 am Reply

    No words can take away your supreme sacrifice Major my Salute to your bravery
    Jai Hind


    2022 at 10:47 am Reply

    Great salute to you.

  • Mitthabailu Vaman Nayak

    2022 at 10:48 am Reply

    I’m short of words when it comes to describing your sacrifice, for our nation.
    Jai Hind

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