Twelve years ago, on November 26, a nation watched in horror as 10 Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorists sent in from Pakistan wreaked havoc in India’s financial capital Mumbai. Innocent blood was spilt over the 60 hours as fighting raged on at key locations that marked Mumbai’s very ethos.   

India’s forces emerged triumphant, but at a major cost. Among those who laid down their lives while eliminating the terrorists was Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan of the 7 BIHAR/ 51 NSG SAG.

Major Unnikrishnan was killed in the operation to flush out terrorists who had taken over the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai. For his valour and unflinching patriotism, Major Unnikrishnan was awarded the Ashok Chakra posthumously.

Major Unnikrishnan’s parents were the first beneficiaries of the Flags of Honour initiative started by Member of Parliament, Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

Flags of Honour contributed Rs 25 lakh to Major Unnikrishnan’s family, which they used to set up a trust in his name.

In remembrance of the late Bengaluru-based officer, the then Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, renamed a stretch of road in Doddaballapur as Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan Road.

A granite slab was also erected at New Town in Bengaluru’s Yelahanka in Major Unnikrishnan’s memory. The board suffered damage in September 2018, which Rajeev Chandrasekhar termed as shameful and demanded that then government restore it to its former glory before the 26/11 attacks anniversary.

 

Twelve years since the 26/11 attacks, Rajeev Chandrasekhar revisited the bravery of those who saved Mumbai from the clutches of terror and sacrificed their lives to protect others. 

He said, “Never forget the sacrifices of that day -- of lives lost n sacrificed, of #Bravehearts of our forces who fought for us”

 

Criticising the then government’s actions, Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that the UPA government was reluctant to answer questions and that the Congress was busy diverting attention away from Pakistan and -- thanks to senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh -- raising the bogey of Hindu terror.

 

Ironically, while the nation was seething in anger and sought stern action against the perpetrators of the dastardly act, the Congress party’s ‘future president’ was in celebratory mode. 

 

Rajeev Chandrasekhar founded the Flags of Honour, a non-profitable organisation in 2009 to attend to the needs of families of the bravehearts who lost their lives while serving the country.

The platform is dedicated to reinforce the spirit of patriotism and service towards the nation. The foundation’s main philosophy lies in ‘serving our nation’.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar is the founder and Principal Donor of Flags of Honour. He started the establishment to advocate the causes of the armed forces -- men, women and veterans alike. Through his initiative, he hopes to give recognition to the soldiers like Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan who were killed in action and support their families with financial assistance.