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As Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s biopic trailer drops, here is how Indian news channels put the lives of security personnel at risk during 26/11 attack

Adivi Sesh plays Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, a warrior who gave his life for the nation during 26/11 attacks

The trailer of the movie Major, a biographical action drama starring Adivi Sesh, is now out. The film is centered around the horrible 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Adivi Sesh plays Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, a warrior who gave his life for the nation.

Major is directed by Sashi Kiran Tikka. It will be released in Hindi, Telugu, and Malayalam on June 3rd, 2022. The film is a heartfelt portrayal of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s extraordinary life story.

Who is Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan

During the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan was the team commander of the 51 Special Action Group (51 SAG), which was deployed at the Taj Hotel to rescue hostages held by the Pakistan-backed terrorists. During the combat with the terrorists, commando Sunil Kumar Jodha was critically injured. Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan promptly arranged for his evacuation and continued the fight the terrorists. As the terrorists attempted to retreat to the next floor, he decided to follow them alone.

He single-handedly cornered the terrorists in the Taj Mahal hotel’s northern end in the subsequent combat, but he lost his own life in the process. His final words, according to eyewitness accounts, were, “Do not come up, I will handle them.”

For his remarkable heroism, persistent fighting spirit, and heroic sacrifice, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan was awarded the nation’s highest peacetime gallantry medal, the Ashok Chakra posthumously. President of India Pratibha Patil conferred the Ashok Chakra to Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan on Republic Day in 2009 for his unwavering fighting spirit and heroic sacrifice.

Sandeep Unnikrishnan - Wikipedia
Sandeep’s mother received the Ashok Chakra on his behalf

How Indian media houses risked the lives of security personnel

During the 2008 Mumbai terrorist assault, horrible images from the scene of the attack were displayed live on our television screens. On 29 August 2012, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Md. Ajmal Md. Amir Kasab vs. the State Of Maharashtra, devoting a whole section and many pages to the behavior of the media and how it jeopardized operations on 26/11.

The Court stated that looking at the transcripts, especially those from Taj Hotel and Nariman House, it is evident that the terrorists who were entrenched at those places and more than them, their collaborators across the border were watching the full show on TV. The Court noted how the handlers of the terrorists sitting across the border were getting all the updates from Indian TV channels.

Supreme Court noted that after looking at the visuals on TV, the collaborators tell the terrorists in Taj Hotel that the dome at the top (of the building) had caught fire. The terrorists holed up in some room were not aware of this. The collaborators further advise the terrorists that the stronger they make the fire the better it would be for them. At yet another place the collaborators tell the terrorists at Taj Hotel the exact position taken by the policemen (close to a building that belonged to the navy but was given to the civilians) and from where they were taking aim and firing at them (the terrorists) and advised them the best position for them to hit back at those policemen. 

The Supreme Court judgment cited many such incidents where the terrorists were helped by the live telecast of the events. The court notes that the handlers of the terrorists were practically monitoring every movement of Indian security forces and guiding the terrorists on the ground based on such information that was freely available to them through Indian channels.

The judgment concludes that although it can’t be determined whether the security forces actually suffered any casualty or injury due to the telecast, “It is beyond doubt that the way their operations were freely shown made the task of the security forces not only exceedingly difficult but also dangerous and risky.”

In a 2012 interview with leftist media outlet Newslaundry, controversial journalist Barkha Dutt had admitted television channels’ role in endangering the lives of civilians as well as security personnel by not restraining themselves during the live telecast. She and her employer, NDTV, were at the forefront of live telecasts from the site. There is an accusation that she called the Oberoi hotel management, which was under siege by terrorists, and confirmed that there were hostages in the hotel that the terrorists were unaware of. She tried to spin it by claiming that the media was unaware that terrorist handlers were watching news channels.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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