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    Hundreds pay tributes to slain NSG major in Bangalore

    A file photo of Major Sandeep Unnikrishna, who was killed in Mumbai Terror attack. Photo: PTI

    Bangalore (IANS): "Major Sandeep amar rahe", "Bharat Mata ki Jai", slogans rent the air as hundreds followed the army truck carrying the body of National Security Guard (NSG) commando Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who was killed in a firefight with terrorists inside the Taj hotel in Mumbai.

    Students in school uniform, young and elderly men and women in hundreds, walked along as the truck wound its way from the residence of the NSG commando in Yelahanka, about 12 km from city centre, to the crematorium, about four kilometres away.

    Dhanalakshmi, mother of 31-year-old Sandeep Unnikrishnan, was inconsolable. She swooned as the Karnataka police band sounded the bugle after a police gun salute marking the beginning of the last journey of her son from their residence to the crematorium.

    She was given medical aid as relatives consoled her.

    The body of Major Unnikrishnan was brought to Bangalore late Friday night from Mumbai and kept at his Yelahanka residence for people to pay their last respects.

    The only son of a retired Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) officer K. Unnikrishnan, Sandeep led his men into Taj Thursday. During the gunbattle he was separated from his men but continued taking on the terrorists, according to NSG Director General J.K. Dutt.

    To prevent his colleagues from getting caught in the crossfire, Sandeep told them to keep away. He was grievously injured and died on Friday.

    His parents hail from Kerala but Sandeep was born and brought up in Bangalore.

    "I lost my son in Mumbai but we are proud that he has served the country well," the father told reporters.

    Unnikrishnan said Sandeep had called on Nov 26 to inform that he would be coming home early next month as his friend was getting married on Dec 17.

    The March 17, 1977, born Sandeep had his schooling from Frank Anthony Public School in Bangalore. After passing out of the National Defence Academy, he was commissioned in the 7th Battalion of Bihar Regiment in 1999. He was deputed to NSG in January 2007.

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