Nine years have passed, but the memories of the most dreadful days in the Indian history can never be forgotten. November 26, 2008, the day when Mumbai witnessed terror attacks by 10 terrorists at prominent spots of the city including CSMT railway station, Leopold Cafe, Oberoi Trident Hotel, Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Nariman House and Cama and Albless Hospital, among others. There were some brave hearts who fought the battle against terrorists and lost their lives, saving many other lives. On the 9th anniversary of the attacks, let us a take a look at those heroes.
Assistant sub-inspector and a retired army man played a pivotal role in catching Ajbal Kasab alive, the lone terrorist survivor who was later sentenced to death. Omble received an information about the terrorists heading towards Marine Drive. He positioned to block the car’s passage and stopped the vehicle. He without any fear took all the bullets from Kasab straight in and didn’t let him go despite the pain. If it was not done by Omble, catching Kasab alive would have been impossible. Omble was honoured Ashoka Chakra posthumously for his fearless attitude and bravery.
The chief of the Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) Hemant Karkare was having dinner with his wife at his Dadar residence when he was informed about a terrorist attack at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) railway station. After reaching CSMT he was informed that the terrorists had moved to Cama and Albless Hospital. Karkare along with other officers reached Cama Hospital. Stationing couple of constables there Karkare, along with Salaskar and Kamte, boarded a Qualis jeep. They were informed on wireless that the terrorists were hiding behind a red car. As they were moving towards Rang Bhawan to search the red car they witnessed a terrorist running. They fired on him and his AK-47 fell down. The terrorist was Ajmal Kasab. And when the officers got down of the jeep they were attacked by the second terrorist Ismail Khan. Karkare was honoured with a posthumous Ashok Chakra on January 26, 2009. Incidentally, in 2014 his wife Kavita died of a brain hemorrhage in Mumbai.
The additional commissioner of the Ashok Kamte offered his assistance to the operation as his area was not under attack. After reaching CSMT he met ATS Chief Hemant Karkare and other police officers and boarded a Qualis jeep along with Salaskar and Karkare. When their jeep was attacked by the terrorists he was only one who retaliated to the firings. He was hit by the volley of bullets but lost his life alongside Salaskar and Karkare when the terrorist opened fire on them. He was rewarded Ashoka Chakra posthumously on January 26, 2009.
Police Inspector and encounter specialist serving with the Mumbai police Vijay Salaskar had carried out the encounter of 75-80 criminals. He was a terror to all terrorists and was also the head of Anti-Extortion Cell. Salaskar was killed while he was fighting terrorists along with his colleagues Karkare and Kamte. He was honoured with Ashoka Chakra on January 26, 2009.
Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan
An officer in the Indian Army, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan was leading his team of NSG Commandos up to the sixth floor of the Taj Hotel. He was the team commander of 51 Special Action Group (51 SAG) deployed in the hotel. His team of 10 commandos entered the hotel through the staircase. Few women were held hostages in a room that was locked from inside. The commandos broke the door but were attacked by the terrorists. In the attack, his colleague Commando Sunil Yadav was injured. He arranged for Yadav’s evacuation and engaged the terrorists in a firefight. A terrorist shot him from the back and he succumbed to his injuries. He was awarded Ashoka Chakra on January 26, 2009.
The list doesn’t end here, there are may brave hearts who sacrificed their lives such as Havaldar Gajender Singh, Nagappa R Mahale, Kishore K. Shinde, Sanjay Govilkar, Sunil Kumar Yadav, and many more.