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Sandeep Unnikrishnan & Guru Hanuman

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Sandeep Unnikrishnan & Guru Hanuman

Sandeep Unnikrishnan

Born: 15 March 1977

Died: 28 November 2008

  • He was an officer in the Indian Army serving in the elite Special Action Group of the National Security Guards.
  •  He was martyred in action during the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.
  • He was consequently awarded the Ashoka Chakra, India’s highest peacetime gallantry award, on 26 January 2009.
  • He  joined the National Defence Academy (India) (NDA), Pune, Maharashtra in 1995. He was a part of the Oscar Squadron (No. 4 Battalion) and a graduate of the 94th Course NDA. He graduated as a Bachelor of Arts. His NDA friends remember him as “selfless”, “generous” and “calm and composed”.
  • He was selected to join the National Security Guards. On completion of training, he was assigned to the Special Action Group (SAG) of NSG on January 2007 and participated in various operations of the NSG.
  • During the ‘Ghatak course’ (at the Commando Wing (Infantry School), Belgaum), the most difficult course of the Army, Sandeep topped the course, earning an “Instructor Grading” and commendation.
  • On the night of 26 November 2008, several iconic buildings in South Mumbai were attacked.
  • One of the buildings where hostage were held was the 100-year-old Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
  • He was the team commander of 51 Special Action Group (51 SAG) deployed in the operation at the hotel to rescue the hostages.

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Guru Hanuman

Born: 15 March 1901

Died: 24 May 1999

  • He  was a legendary wrestling coach of India who coached many medal-winning wrestlers.
  • He was awarded the prestigious Dronacharya Award in 1987, the highest recognition for a sports coach in India, and the Padma Shri in 1983.
  • The Indian industrialist K. K. Birla gave him land to set up Akhara in Malkaganj, Subzi Mandi (Old Delhi), thus ‘Birla Mills Vyayamshala’ was born around 1925 which is being managed by Birla Mills, Kamla Nagar, Delhi, which subsequently known as the Guru Hanuman Akhara.
  • Both as a wrestler and as a coach, he was a legend as he created a template for modern Indian wrestling, by mixing traditional Indian wrestling style, pehlwani with international wrestling standards.
  • In time he coached almost all of India’s freestyle international wrestlers.
  • Three of his disciples Sudesh Kumar, Prem Nath and won gold medals at the Cardiff Commonwealth Games in 1958.
  • Other notable disciples, Satpal and Kartar Singh won gold medals in Asian Games in 1982 and 1986 respectively. Eight of his disciples got the highest Indian sporting honour Arjuna award.

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